Angolan companies looking to find and exploit local gold and diamond reserves

13th July 2018 By: Rebecca Campbell - Creamer Media Senior Deputy Editor

The Angolan government has granted four new prospecting concessions for gold, the Macauhub news agency has reported. All four concessions have gone to partnerships formed by the State-owned Empresa Nacional de Ferro de Angola (Ferrangol – the National Iron Company of Angola) with various private enterprises. Together, the concessions cover an area of more than 5 000 km2 and involve an investment, by the partner companies, of €8-million.

The concessions are distinct from each other, each being signed separately by Mineral Resources and Petroleum Minister Diamantino Pedro Azevedo, and located in the provinces of Huambo and Huíla (one each), and Bengo (two).

The Huambo concession lies within the Tchicala-Tcholoanga municipal district. The consortium which has been awarded the mineral rights is composed of Ferrangol, which has a 25% share, and private-sector businesses Solande, which holds 65%, and MJP, with 10%. The concession covers an area of 3 212 km2 and involves an initial investment of $796 000.

The Huíla concession is located in the Chipindo municipality. This has been awarded to a consortium of Ferrangol (85% share) and private enterprises Angosam, Cecadiam and Zanvula (with 5% each). The concession area is 200 km2 and the initial investment is $823 000.

The two Bengo concessions lie in the municipal districts of Dembos and Nambuangongo. The Dembos concession has been awarded to a joint venture of Ferrangol (25%) and private businesses Praxis (70%) and Lukestico (5%); it covers an area of 1 738 km2 and involves an initial investment of $7.1-million.

The Nambuangongo concession involves a consortium of Ferrangol (20% share) and private-sector enterprises Tandai Minas (72%) and Actus (8%). This concession reportedly covers an area of just 5 km2 and involves an initial investment of $963 000.

In all four cases, the prospecting rights are valid for two years, but can be extended to seven years. Actual mining rights can run for between 3 and 35 years.

Meanwhile, State-owned national diamond company Endiama (an acronym for Empresa Nacional de Prospecção, Exploração, Lapidação e Comercialização de Diamantes de Angola) has reported that it has suspended its exploration and mining projects in the Central African Republic (CAR) and Venezuela. Instead, it will concentrate its efforts on exploring for and exploiting new diamond reserves in, and attracting new investors to, its home country.

Speaking on the margins of a visit by Azevedo to the Catoca Mining Company (in which Endiama holds a 41% share), company president José Manual Ganga Júnior stated that the contract, involving diamonds and other mineral resources, with the CAR government had been suspended “because we understand that we do not have the conditions to develop various projects outside of the country”. The contract with Venezuela, focused on diamonds and gold, was being re-evaluated, he added.