Luanda, Angola — MININGREVIEW.COM — 08 December 2008 – Angola could become the world’s third biggest diamond producer by 2010, on the back of new mining concessions and strong investment in the industry.
In making this prediction here, state-owned diamond company Endiama admitted that in order to become one of world’s top diamond players, Angola would have to double its production to 19 million carats in 2010, from an estimated 10 million in 2008. It also noted the falling demand for diamonds due to the global economic crisis.
Angola is the world’s fifth biggest diamond producer after Botswana, Russia, Canada and South Africa, and – says Reuters – the country’s diamond industry has been growing at a fast pace since the 27-year civil war ended in 2002.
“There are strong indications that diamond production will continue to rise due to investments in the past few years,” Endiama said, citing a study by consulting firm KPMG. Endiama – which oversees Angola’s diamond production – recently told Reuters it had explored only about 40% of the territory believed to have potential for diamond mining.
The news agency reports that the company’s diamond revenues – once used to fund rebels from the main opposition UNITA party against the government – are now being devoted to raising production and marketing of diamonds abroad. The IMF says Angola more than doubled the value of its diamond exports to US$1.6 billion (R16.5 billion) in 2007 from US$790 million R8.1 billion) in 2004.