One hundred and forty two Angolan citizens Thursday received documentation that allows them to work in artisanal diamond exploration in an area of Malanje province, at a ceremony attended by Geology and Mining Minister, Francisco Queiroz.
The initiative is intended to put a stop to illegal diamond mining and to prevent foreigners from illegally exploring diamonds and the 142 citizens received their mining passes and accreditation that authorise them to prospect for diamonds without using machinery or industrial equipment.
According to Queiroz, illegal diamond mining in Angola is reaching worrying proportions, and the government has decided to legalise only Angolan citizens for diamond mining.
Under the terms of decree 53/09, of 22 September, one of the requirements to obtain a license, along with Angolan citizenship, is to have been a resident for over 10 years in the region where the mines are located.
The hand over of the mining passes is due to take place Friday in the Milando area where the mine that the accredited agents will be allowed to prospect for diamonds.
Since the beginning of the process to license Angolan citizens for artisanal diamond mining, in 2011, 433 people have received accreditation in the provinces of Lunda Norte and Lunda Sul. (macauhub)