Angola aims to attract major mining investor, develop local ones

31st March 2017 By: Keith Campbell - Creamer Media Senior Deputy Editor

The copper/cobalt belt, known as the Central African Copperbelt, already well-known and exploited in Zambia and the Democratic Republic of Congo, also extends into Angola. This has been determined by surveying activities carried out under Angola’s National Geology Plan (known by the Portuguese acronym of Planageo). Geophysical surveying has indicated that the Angolan section of this belt covers at least 116 000 km2.

This information was released by Angolan Geology and Mines Minister Francisco Queiroz in his address at the recent launch ceremony for the Angolan Geosciences and Petroleum Support Activities Companies Association (the Portuguese abbreviation of which is AEAGSAP). He further reported that other Planageo surveys had discovered a dimension stone complex covering some 45 000 km2, designated the Cunene complex, straddling the provinces of Huíla and Cunene and extending down to (and probably into) Namibia.

Planageo has borne other fruits as well. “The magnetic anomalies detected by Planageo have produced signals favourable for prospecting for metallic and nonmetallic minerals such as iron, diamonds, copper, manganese, titanium, zinc, lead, bauxite and even radioactive minerals and phosphates,” he stated.

As a result, government was going to start a campaign to attract major global mining investors to Angola. “We are hopeful that, in the medium term, these investors will make a positive impact in changing the economic base of the country,” he explained. But he also affirmed that mining investment funds also had to be created with a view to encouraging the active participation of Angolan businesspeople in mining investments, including partnerships with foreign investors.

The implementation of Planageo has cost the Angolan State Kz40.5-billion, or €225.8-million. The plan is being executed by a consortium composed of the National Energy and Geology Laboratory of Portugal, the Geological and Mining Institute of Spain and Spanish company Impulso Industrial Alternativo. This implementation is being done on behalf of the Geological Institute of Angola.

A few days before, Angolan Finance Minister Archer Mangueria signed a couple of finance agreements in Beijing with two Chinese financial institutions for projects in his country. These were the Export-Import Bank of China and the China Development Bank. The financial accord with the Export-Import Bank of China was for a loan of $65.3-million for further financing of the Planageo (the future development of the plan requires a total of $76.8-million).

(The deal with the China Development Bank provides $35.3-million to help finance the establishment of a training and supply centre and the creation of a data base for the Ministry of Energy and Waters. This project requires a total investment of $41.5-million.)

The Angolan economy remains overwhelmingly dominated by the oil sector. According to ‘The World Factbook 2017’ of the US Central Intelligence Agency, the oil sector (including supporting activities) accounts for some 50% of Angola’s gross domestic product, more than 70% of government revenues and more than 90% of exports.