Angola’s diamond exports in January brought in the second-highest price per carat ($136.24) for monthly sales since October 2016, Portuguese news agency Lusa has reported. The highest price per carat ($138.60) for monthly sales in this period was achieved in November last year.
According to the monthly report of the Angolan Finance Ministry, the country exported 620 485 ct of diamonds in January, with a total value of $84 535 532 (or €68 500 000).The State collected taxes of €5-million (just over 1.33-billion kwanzas) on these sales.
For the whole of last year, the country’s diamond exports brought in gross revenues of $1-billion (€811-million), according to Mineral Resources and Petroleum Minister Diamantino Pedro Azevedo. (His first name, Diamantino, translates into English as diamantine.) He was talking to journalists on the fringe of a recent consultative forum on revitalising the national policy on the commercialisation of the country’s rough diamonds.
“For this year, the projections must always take into account the base price, and this is an exogenous variable which does not depend on us,” he noted. “Still, we want to increase the value of [diamond sales achieved] last year.”
Lusa has noted that Angola’s diamond sales, in terms of carats, increased by 4% in 2017, compared with 2016. However, while the country’s diamonds fetched $121.1/ct in 2016, this figure fell to $117.23/ct in 2017. This meant that the revenues obtained for diamonds last year were only 0.5% higher than in 2016. However, tax revenues increased by 5% over the same period, because of the royalties and industrial tax paid by the mining companies.
Diamonds are Angola’s second-most-important export commodity, after oil and gas. There is, however, a huge gap between oil and gas, responsible for 91% of the country’s exports, and diamonds, responsible for 4.9%. However, according to the Angola government, with the entry into operation this year of the world’s biggest kimberlite mine, Luaxe, in Lunda Sul province, and of other, small and medium-scale, diamond operations in the provinces of Bié, Cuando Cubango, Lunda Norte, Lunda Sul and Malanje, the country’s annual diamond production should double.
And government wants to attract even more investment in the diamond sector, particularly regarding beneficiation. “There now exists a commercialisation policy,” he pointed out. “What we want is to improve this policy in the sense of, first, maximising the revenues for the State, and second, also to align the interests of the producers with [those of] the commercialisation companies.”
He affirmed that government sought to “create incentives” for diamond polishing companies to establish themselves in the country. “For this, we need to improve the total production chain of the exploitation, transformation and commercialisation of diamonds.”
The Mineral Resources and Petroleum Ministry sought to improve Angola’s position in the global context, particularly in terms of the production and commercialisation of diamonds.