Largest New Diamond Mine of the Decade Coming Online in Angola

SourcingNov 29, 2023

Largest New Diamond Mine of the Decade Coming Online in Angola

The Luele mine is expected to eventually make the country the world’s third-largest diamond producer.

Diamond development hub in Angola
Angola’s diamond development hub in the city of Saurimo, as photographed in November 2021. The country announced the opening of a new, large diamond mine Monday—Luele, formerly known as Luaxe. (Photo credit/courtesy of Paul Zimnisky)
Luanda, Angola—Officials in Angola touted the opening of a large new diamond mine Monday, a project that marks a milestone for natural diamond production that will be unmatched in this decade.

The Luele mine is located in northeastern Angola, adjacent to the country’s other large diamond mine, Catoca.

The government announced the opening of the mine Monday, per a report published Tuesday by Reuters.

According to the news outlet, the government’s presentation on the mine did not disclose its projected production for 2024.

However, diamond industry analyst Paul Zimnisky said, according to his estimates, Luele will produce 3.5 million to 4 million carats annually, with production gradually ramping up in 2024 and the mine reaching full commercial capacity in 2025.

He noted there is an option to expand the mine’s processing plant, which could double production.

The ramp-up of production at Luele will be enough to eventually make Angola the third-largest diamond producer in the world in terms of both volume and value, leapfrogging Canada, especially since the Renard mine in northern Quebec was just mothballed.

(Russia is the world’s No. 1 diamond producer in volume terms, followed by Botswana. Botswana is No. 1 in value terms, trailed by Russia.) 

“It’s a huge deposit,” Zimnisky said in an interview with National Jeweler Tuesday. 

“This is the only diamond mine of significance that’s going to come into production this decade. It’s a big deal from that standpoint."

 Related stories will be right here … 

Luele was formerly known as Luaxe.

In the past, numerous reports described the development of the deposit as a joint venture between Sociedade Mineira de Catoca—the joint venture that operates the neighboring Catoca mine—and Russian diamond miner Alrosa, which remains under U.S. sanction following Russia’s 2022 invasion of Ukraine.

In the January 2022 issue of Rapaport magazine, the publication’s then Senior Editor and News Analyst Avi Krawitz, who had traveled to Angola in late 2021, broke down the mine’s ownership like this: Catoca, 50.5 percent stake; Endiama, 13 percent stake; Alrosa, 13 percent stake; Cecadiam, 9 percent stake; Chela Group, 6 percent stake; Kamen, 4 percent stake, and Reform 4 percent stake. 

However, Alrosa’s name was conspicuously absent from the presentation given about Luele as it formally launched Monday, according to an individual with knowledge of the presentation. 

It listed Catoca as having a 50.5 percent stake, as previously reported, while state-owned mining company Endiama’s interest in the project has increased to 25 percent. 

Reform’s interest remains at 4 percent while the Geological Institute of Angola now holds a 1 percent stake.  

According to the presentation, a company called Falcan, which was not previously listed as one of the mine’s owners, holds the remaining 19.5 percent interest in Luele. 

It is unclear who owns Falcan and the presentation did not note that Alrosa, while no longer listed among the owners of Luele, has a 41 percent stake in Catoca. 

Neither Catoca nor Alrosa responded to an email request for comment sent overnight regarding the ownership of the Luele mine.  

The Latest

National Jeweler columnist Lilian Raji
ColumnistsFeb 27, 2024
The PR Adviser: Leveraging Those Early Victories

Lilian Raji offers advice to a “small brand with big dreams” that is unsure of what its next step should be.

Sotheby’s MoonSwatch Suitcase auction
AuctionsFeb 27, 2024
Sotheby’s MoonSwatch Suitcases Sell for Over $600K

The auction house sold all 11 “MoonSwatch Moonshine Gold” suitcases, donating the proceeds to eye care nonprofit Orbis International.

Nikia Levesque
MajorsFeb 27, 2024
Nikia Levesque Joins WJA Board as Foundation VP

The association also announced five new board members.

GIA id100
Brought to you by
Full Disclosure at Your Fingertips

Distinguishing natural diamonds from laboratory-grown stones – now more available than ever – has been difficult for jewelers. Until now.

Matteo Farsura Italian Exhibition Group
Events & AwardsFeb 27, 2024
IEG Names New Exhibition Manager for Jewelry, Fashion Division

Matteo Farsura, former exhibition manager of Vicenzaoro, will oversee the Italian Exhibition Group’s various jewelry and fashion shows.

Weekly QuizFeb 22, 2024
This Week’s Quiz
Test your jewelry news knowledge with this short test.
Take the Quiz
Lightbox lab grown diamond pendant in yellow gold
Lab-GrownFeb 26, 2024
Lightbox ‘Significantly’ Lowered Its Prices in Q4

The De Beers-owned lab-grown diamond company dropped the price on its standard offerings from $800/carat to $600/carat.

JA New York signs
Events & AwardsFeb 26, 2024
JA New York to Bring the Diamond District to Spring Show

The upcoming show will have an immersive “47th Street Experience” for attendees.

flashforge pic.png
Brought to you by
WaxJet: Revolution in Jewelry Manufacturing

The WaxJet 400, recognized as the world's fastest wax printer, is bringing in a new era of precision and efficiency to industry.

GIA Dubai laboratory
GradingFeb 26, 2024
GIA Opens Lab in Dubai

The new DMCC Laboratory at Uptown Tower will initially serve clients in Dubai free trade zones.

Rolex Oyster Perpetual Day-Date 36 with affirmations
WatchesFeb 23, 2024
Rolex to Open New Watchmaking School in Dallas

The Rolex Watchmaking Training Center will welcome its first class this fall.

Guzema Freedom heart pendant for Ukraine
CollectionsFeb 23, 2024
Piece of the Week: Guzema’s ‘Freedom’ for Ukraine Pendant

Ukrainian jewelry designer Valeriya Guzema’s charitable “Freedom” collection is inspired by hope for the country’s future.

Elton John’s leopard print Rolex Daytona watch
AuctionsFeb 22, 2024
Elton John’s Leopard-Print Rolex Roars at Auction

Two Cartier watches also topped their estimates at Christie’s “The Collection of Sir Elton John: Goodbye Peachtree Road” evening sale.

Buccellati header
TrendsFeb 22, 2024
Buccellati to Open ‘Prince of Goldsmiths’ Exhibition

Set to be held in Venice, it’s a look through the maison’s history.

Sebastian Clarke and Katherine van Dell of Heritage Auctions
AuctionsFeb 22, 2024
Heritage Auctions Adds 2 New Hires to West Palm Beach Office

Sebastian Clarke and Katherine van Dell, frequent appraisers on “Antiques Roadshow,” will join the new office.

National Jeweler columnist Sherry Smith
ColumnistsFeb 21, 2024
On Data: January Was a ‘Mixed Bag’ for Independent Jewelers

Sherry Smith dishes on the month’s highs and lows and the two categories consumers were loving ahead of Valentine’s Day.

Stock image of diamonds
GradingFeb 21, 2024
GIA’s Same-Day Service Now Available Everywhere

The new service, introduced to stem fraud related to lab-grown diamonds, will be offered at no cost for the time being.

Jam + Rico Claire’s jewelry
CollectionsFeb 21, 2024
Jam + Rico Debuts Second Claire’s Collection

Founder Lisette Scott was inspired by the intricacy, colors, and symbolism of African art and architecture.

Rapaport logo
SourcingFeb 21, 2024
Rapaport to Hold Another Natural Pearl Auction

Viewings start this week in New York and bidding will close on March 8.

National Jeweler columnist Peter Smith
ColumnistsFeb 20, 2024
Squirrel Spotting: Life After Rolex

Peter Smith shares advice from independent jewelers who used losing this cornerstone brand as a catalyst for reinvention.

Neile Adams McQueen and Steve McQueen
AuctionsFeb 20, 2024
Jewels from Neile Adams McQueen Shine at Bonhams

All 13 lots belonging to the actress and first wife of Steve McQueen sold at the recent “California Jewels” sale.

Stuller bench jeweler
Events & AwardsFeb 20, 2024
Stuller to Host Bench Jeweler Workshop in March

Registration is also open for its “Battle of the Benches” challenge.

Mary Ball Gorman of Henry B. Ball Jewelers
IndependentsFeb 16, 2024
Mary Ball Gorman of Henry B. Ball Jewelers Dies at 99

Gorman was an industry trailblazer, serving as the first female treasurer of Jewelers of America.

Jade Ruzzo gold and diamond Tennessee Torque necklace
CollectionsFeb 16, 2024
Piece of the Week: Jade Ruzzo’s Tribute to Tennessee

The movement of the 18-karat gold and diamond “Tennessee Torque” necklace is subtle.

Jared Goff and Claudia Cividino
MajorsFeb 15, 2024
Detroit Lions’ QB Jared Goff Going to Jared

Goff, whose fans hold up “He Went to Jared” signs at games, has signed a partnership with the retailer.

De Beers Venetia diamond mine
SourcingFeb 15, 2024
De Beers’ Production Down 8% in 2023

The company recovered 31.9 million carats of diamonds in 2023, compared with 34.6 million in 2022.

Gina D’Onofrio Heritage Auctions
AuctionsFeb 15, 2024
Heritage Auctions Names New Co-Director of Fine Jewelry

Industry veteran Gina D’Onofrio has rejoined the auction house.

Indian Diamond and Colorstone Association (IDCA) awards
Events & AwardsFeb 15, 2024
IDCA Hands Out Awards in Tucson

The association also celebrated its 40th anniversary.


This site uses cookies to give you the best online experience. By continuing to use & browse this site, we assume you agree to our Privacy Policy