Angola: Government tries to interest investors in iron ore exploration

6 February 2008

Cape Town, South Africa, 6 Feb – Angola plans to attract investment to iron ore exploration in order to reduce its dependence on oil and diamonds, the Angolan Geology and Mining Deputy Minister, Mankenda Ambroise said in Cape Town Tuesday.

During a mining conference, entitled “Investments in mining to discover Angolan mining wealth,” Ambroise said that iron ore was one of the resources that the Angolan government would soon open up to private investment.

The attraction to iron ore has steadily increased as its price on the world market has risen, mainly due to Chinese demand.

Although Angola is best known for its oil and diamond resources, officials in Luanda have been trying to convince foreign investors to invest in forgotten resources, including the mining of base metals and gold.

Angola is a country recognized as being particularly rich in mining resources as it is estimated that 35 of the 45 most important minerals in world commerce are found there, particularly oil, natural gas, diamonds and phosphates, as well as iron, magnesium, gold and ornamental rocks, amongst others.

The studies carried out indicate that Angola has phosphate reserves of an estimated 150 million tons in the provinces of Cabinda and Zaire, in the north of the country, which are not currently being mined.

In the provinces of Namibe and Huíla, in the southeast of the country, there are important marble, granite and quartz deposits, whose current levels of mining could be substantially increased.

In terms of iron, annual production totaled almost 6 million tons before Angolan independence, via mines located in the provinces of Malanje, Bié, Huambo and Huíla. (macauhub)