A licence to operate a diamond mine in Angola has returned to the state because the company to which it had been granted, Sociedade Mineira de Camachia Camagico, had accumulated debts in excess of US$530 million, reported the Angolan press.
The decision announced on Saturday by the president of Angolan diamond company Endiama, Ganga Júnior, is due not only to debts to creditors, suppliers and the State but also to the level of production, revenue and high operating costs.
“The company was operating on successive losses and its operation did not even allow for reimbursement of expenses, so the debt would simply increase over time,” he said, adding that production was only about 5,000 carats a month.
State-owned company Endiama took over the concession, and a Management Committee has been appointed to analyse the viability of the project and ensure the maintenance of the 352 jobs, 23 of which are occupied by foreigners, “until new partners and/or investors with financial capacity are found,” according to the Angop news agency.
Ganga Júnior also said that the problems of the company, whose shareholders were Escom Alrosa, with 45%l, Endiama with 30%, Hipergesta with 15% and Angodiam with 10%, were the result of the current economic scenario.
The president of Endiama said that an immediate challenge is to recover one of the two processing plants, which will allow diamond production to increase from the current 5,000 to 8,000 carats per month. (Macauhub)