Diamond mining projects in Angola to double over next few years

31 October 2007

Ottawa, Canada, 31 Oct – The number of diamond mining projects in Angola is set to double over the next few years, with exponential growth in production expected, non-governmental organization Partnership Africa Canada said in Ottawa Tuesday.

According to the Annual Diamond Industry Magazine for 2007 in Angola, in the middle of this year 12 diamond mining projects were active and 15 were ready to go into production over the next few years.

As well as these a further 30 wide-scale prospecting projects are in line at a time when the figures for the diamond industry are according to PAC “extraordinary.”

Between 2002 and 2006 production almost doubled – from five million carats to 9.5 million – whilst gross revenue from diamond sales rose to US$1.2 billion last year.

PAC also said that Angola Polishing Diamonds (APD), a diamond cutting and polishing unit in the south of Luanda was a “success’ and “blessed with the best rough diamonds provided by Sodiam, and a lot of money to support the development,” which employs 470 people, 90 percent of whom are Angolan, supported by technicians recruited in Israel and Russia.

“In the long term the Angolan government’s strategy is to get returns from the entire production chain, from mining to exporting and cutting, via retail sales, possibly under an Angolan brand,” and, with the conditions it has, APD is likely to be a success, according to PAC.

In 2000, its was calculated that alluvial diamond reserves in Angola totaled around 40 million carats, but now, Pac said that these “were bigger than it was thought.” (macauhub)