The Angolan government plans to approve a new diamonds concession for the De Beers company, the country’s Geology and Mining Minister, Francisco Queiróz said in Luanda.
De Beers, the majority shareholder of the Anglo American group, mined for diamonds between 2005 and 2012 when it gave up its concession due to a lack of results.
Minister Francisco Queiróz said that negotiations were underway between De Beers and Angolan state diamond company, Endiama, to re-launch diamond mining.
De Beers’ chief executive, Philipe Mellier told Reuters that the company planned to start the first phase of diamond exploration this year.
The Angolan government recently announced it was interested in granting more concessions for diamond exploration.
Russian company Alrosa, De Beers main competitor, already operates in the Catoca mine, in partnership with Endiama.
Angola, which is the world’s sixth-largest diamond producer by volume, plans in 2014 to increase production from 8.5 million to 9.5 million carats. (macauhub)