Angola: Government considers acquiring diamonds from mining companies to overcome crisis

13 February 2009

Luanda, Angola, 13 Feb – Angola is considering acquiring diamonds from private companies operating in the country to help them overcome a sharp drop in prices, the a spokesman for state diamond company Empresa Nacional de Diamantes de Angola (Endiama).

Speaking to the Reuters news agency, Sebastião Panzo said that the State’s buying diamonds is a measure that is being considered to help the companies that operate in the sector to ride out the crisis.

However, he added that the move had not yet been decided.

Endiama has the monopoly on exploration and distribution of diamonds in Angola, which requires companies that wish to mine diamonds establish partnership deals with the state company.

Last year BHP Billiton announced it would divest its projects for diamond mining in Angola.

Demand for rough diamonds has fallen over the last few months and expected to fall by 60 percent this year with the global recession hitting demand for luxury products hard in markets such as the United States and Europe. (macauhub)