Government of Angola to carry geological survey to determine potential of natural resources

25 June 2009

Luanda, Angola, 25 June – The Angolan Ministry of Geology and Mining plans, over five years, to carry out a geological survey of the country in order to establish it potential in terms of mining resources, as part of the National Geology Plan approved Thursday in Luanda by the government.

Speaking to the press after a meeting of the Council of Minister, the Minister for Geology and Mining, Mankenda Ambroise, said that Angola was a potentially rich country, but it was necessary to carry out a survey that would make it possible to know exactly what it has and where its mining resources are located.

At a cost of US$350 million, which includes construction of facilities such as laboratories, the study will be carried out in phases and will involve a geological, air and geophysical survey and drawing up geological and water resource maps, according to Angolan news agency Angop.

The government said, in a statement, that the national plan was an instrument to define the strategy for the mining sector, so that it can take an active part in the process of national reconstruction, increase revenues for the State, create new jobs and improve the social conditions of the population.

According to the minister, “the work is quite ambitious, but possible,” in that the country’s territory will be split into four areas, (north, northeast, south and southeast) in order to make the geological survey easier.

At Wednesday’s meeting, the government also approved the strategic development programme of the Angolan Geological Institute to equip the country with geological facilities to obtain credible information that makes it possible to have knowledge and assess the mining potential of the country.

The government also approved the regulations for traditional alluvial or secondary diamond mining, using artisan methods and resources, with mechanisation and without industrial mining technology, and with the activity licensed by the Ministry for Geology and Mining.

According to Ambroise, as part of the Kimberley Process, Angola is obliged to set up mechanisms for internal control and a legal framework for traditional-style diamond mining in order to combat illegal occupation of mining resource reserves.

The minister explained that traditional mining was exclusively for Angolan nationals resident in the exploration area for at least 10 years (in order to prevent an illegal influx of prospectors into the areas), whilst foreigners can only be involved in industrial mining. (macauhub)