De Beers Wants to Look for Diamonds in Angola
The company said it has applied to conduct diamond exploration activities in the northeastern section of the country.
The company said it has submitted a Mineral Rights application and will begin discussions with the government to see if they can come to an agreement on a Mineral Investment Contract, which would set the terms and conditions by which De Beers would operate in the country.
Angola is in southern Africa, north of Namibia and Botswana—both countries where De Beers already has well-established diamond mining operations—and west of Zambia, which is known for its emeralds.
If De Beers is granted a license, Angola would be the only country in the world where De Beers, Alrosa, and Rio Tinto all have a presence, analyst Paul Zimnisky noted on Twitter.
Alrosa has a stake in the open-pit Catoca diamond mine in northeastern Angola in a joint venture with state-owned diamond company Endiama, while Rio Tinto is evaluating the Chiri kimberlite pipe, also in the northeast and in a joint venture with Endiama. Rio Tinto took a 75 percent stake in the exploration project in October.
The troubles surrounding Angola and the country’s diamonds have made headlines in the past, including the corruption surrounding Isabel dos Santos, whom Endiama reportedly cut ties with in 2018, and, more recently, the spill from Catoca that polluted two tributaries of the Congo River.
In announcing its intention to begin exploring in the country, De Beers said there have been “substantive and consistent reforms” implemented by the government that allow its diamonds to benefit local communities.
“As a result of this—and with De Beers’ recognized Building Forever framework for creating lasting positive socio-economic impact for communities, our innovative FutureSmart Mining program that is transforming mining technologies to deliver a significantly reduced environmental footprint, and our proven track record of establishing responsible and mutually beneficial partnerships in the region—we look forward to positive and transparent discussions with government about the possibility of future investment,” CEO Bruce Cleaver said.
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