Angola’s diamond cutting factory, restructured after the failed partnership with a foreign investor is due to start operating again on 4 February in Luanda, the chairman of Angolan state diamond company Endiama, Carlos Sumbula said Saturday.
The factory run by Sociedade de Comercialização de Diamantes de Angola (Sodiam), a subsidiary of Endiama and representing an investment of US$10 million, previously involved a partnership with foreign investors.
“The cutting factory did not go well because the partner was not well chosen,” the Minister of Geology and Mines of Angola, Francisco Queiroz admitted last June.
This first diamond cutting unit in Angola was announced by the Angolan government in 2005 as a “historic turning point” in the country’s diamond industry allowing for a substantial increase in state diamond revenues, the second largest source of national wealth, after oil.
The creation of this factory involved, at the time, Sodiam, a state-owned enterprise established in December 1999 with exclusive rights to sell diamonds produced in the country, British company LLD Diamonds and an Angolan consortium, to make up the Angola Polishing Diamonds company.
Speaking at the ceremony to mark 34 years of the concession, Sumbula announced that the company would speed up diamond prospecting in order to discover existing kimberlites in Angola.
Sumbula also said studies done that showed 90 percent of mineralised kimberlites are still in the Angolan subsoil and the diamonds mined over the last hundred years represent only a small part of what there is. (macauhub/AO)