China overtakes US to become biggest purchaser of Angolan diamonds

30 April 2010

Luanda, Angola, 30 April – China is currently the biggest buyer of Angolan diamonds, having overtaken the United States, which until 2009 led purchases of diamonds from Angola, an official from state diamond company Empresa Nacional de Diamantes de Angola (Endiama) said Thursday in Luanda.

During a talk on the current situation and prospects for diamond projects, Endiama’s director for geology, Miguel Paulino said that between 2006 and 2008 the main destination of Angola’s diamonds was the US, with a per carat price of between US$87 and US$154.

However, due to the world financial crisis, China became the biggest buyer with the US buying just 3 percent of Angola’s diamond production in 2009.

Referring to primary diamond deposits, Paulino said that the three existing ones, Catoca Lwó and Camuto were in an exploration phase.

The Catoca mine, located in Lunda Sul province, is the fourth-largest in the world and accounts for production of some US$500 million in diamonds, but in 2009 this total was just US$430 due to the crisis.

At the end of last year, the mining sector had 45 primary deposit diamond prospecting projects covering an area of 107,000 square kilometres. (macauhub)