Angola will this year initiate a new governance system for the country’s mining industry, the country’s Mineral Resources and Petroleum Minister, Diamantino Azevedo, confirmed at the recent Investing in African Mining Indaba, in Cape Town. The new system will include the new National Agency for Mineral Resources (Agência Nacional de Recursos Minerais – ANRM, in Portuguese) and the Diamond Exchange, both to be set up during this year.
Speaking on the margins of the Indaba, Azevedo said the Angolan government wanted “to create more rapidity in the approval of investments in the [mining] sector, bring more transparency and make investors feel more comfortable”. His remarks were released by his Ministry’s Institutional and Press Communication Office.
He added that, currently, the studies into the introduction of the new governance system were being finalised. These studies were going to plan. The aim was to set up the new system while avoiding the creation of instability in the sector, following the example set by the introduction of a new governance system in the petroleum sector.Institutional Strategy
Angola has regularly participated in the Mining Indaba. The country does so as part of its “institutional strategy” to attract foreign investments, the Mining Indaba being one of the world’s most important mining conferences and exhibitions. At this year’s event, the country had a stand whose the name was ‘Angola Diamond Potential’. A number of companies were represented on it, including the Catoca, Cuango, Chitolo, Furi, Muapi, Somiluana and Yetwene mining companies.
Also represented was State-owned diamond commercialisation company Sodiam – an acronym for Sociedade de Comercialização de Diamantes de Angola (the Diamond Commercialisation Company of Angola). The planned Diamond Exchange will replace Sodiam. Similarly, the new ANRM will replace another State-owned company, Ferrangol (Empresa Nacional de Ferro de Angola – the National Iron Company of Angola – which covers many more minerals than just iron-ore).
Also at the Indaba, Anglo American CEO Mark Cutifani assured Azevedo that his group intended to start exploration activities in Angola this year. This information was also released by the Angolan Mineral Resources and Petroleum Ministry’s Institutional and Press Communication Office.
In Luanda, last November, the mining group signed five mining investment contracts with the Ministry. Three of these were focused on base metals – cobalt, copper and nickel – in Cunene province. The other two were for projects in Moxico province, where the target metals are cobalt, copper and silver. The actual start of exploration is, however, still dependent on the signing of a set of agreements between the miner and the Angolan government.