HomeDiamonds & GemstonesAngola to produce diamonds without foreign support

Angola to produce diamonds without foreign support

Endiama chairman
Carlos Sumbula
Luanda, Angola — MININGREVIEW.COM — 15 December 2009 – Angola’s state-run diamond company, Endiama EP, says it aims to produce the gems without foreign support.

“We need to produce our diamonds ourselves,” said newly-appointed Endiama chairman Carlos Sumbula in a statement on the company’s Web site.

The company’s partners include De Beers “’ which produces about 40% of the world’s diamonds, and Trans Hex Group Limited, Africa’s biggest publicly traded producer of diamonds.

Endiama also aims to make profits for the state, and is now engaged in classifying its staff to see “what each member can offer the company,” the Luanda-based company said.

Meanwhile diamond prices are recovering from last year’s slump as demand for precious stones picks up on the back of a global economic recovery. Angolan diamond prices fell by around 70% last year, prompting some diamond companies like BHP Billiton “’ the world’s biggest miner “’ to divest from some of its mines in the southern African country.

“The situation is improving and we hope it continues to get better,” said Sumbula. Diamond mining is one of the country’s main economic pillars, and Endiama controls all diamond concessions in Angola “’ the world’s fifth biggest diamond producer “’ and holds stakes of up to 51% in 12 of Angola’s 14 active diamond mines.

Sumbula said one of Endiama’s goals under his leadership would be to start producing diamonds on its own, without depending on joint-ventures with foreign firms. “We are going to implement the government’s plan for the sector,” he said. “We want Endiama to have better results and to start producing its own diamonds.”

Angola’s diamond output should remain stable at 9 million carats of diamonds per year in 2009 and 2010, according to the country’s budget for next year.

The government also wants Endiama to start exploring for other precious minerals like gold.