Endiama, Alrosa Mull New Investments in Angola

Luanda: Angola’s state diamond company, Empresa Nacional de Diamantes (ENDIAMA) and Russian diamond giant Alrosa are assessing the possibility of studies for additional investments in the exploration of kimberlites in the southern African country.

Angop reports that this was revealed by ENDIAMA chairperson Carlos Sambula and Alrosa president Sergey Ivanov following their meeting Tuesday with the country’s vice president, Manuel Vicente in Luanda.

Ivanov was quoted as saying that business with Luanda was “flourishing” with net profits of $137 million last year, coupled with better quality of diamonds extracted.

“I believe that in 2017 there will be an improvement in the revenues in terms of foreign currency resulting from the sale of diamonds, based on a more favorable economic situation,” he said.

Ivanov said new investments could be made from 2018, depending on the economic feasibility studies in other projects, such as Luaxe.

Meanwhile, Sambula said that the investment prospects with Alrosa were “good”. He could, however, not reveal the projected investment in dollar terms saying this would be determined based on the results of the ongoing technical and economic studies.

Meanwhile, the Endiama boss said work on Luaxe, considered the largest compared to Catoca, was running according to schedule and can be opened late 2018 or early 2019. Catoca currently produces about 80 percent of the country’s total diamond output.

Alrosa and Endiama each control a 32.8 percent stake in Catoca, while LL International Holding B.V. owned by China-Sonagol controlled an 18.0 percent stake. Brazil’s Odebrecht Mining Services owns 16.4 percent of the company. Alrosa and Endiama also co-own the Luaxe kimberlite project.

Endiama said last February that it was currently negotiating with Alrosa for the financing of the Luaxe and would not seek additional investors.

Former Alrosa president Andrey Zharkov said last September that capital investments in Luaxe project during its mine life was estimated at $1 billion.

Luaxe, which was discovered in 2015, was projected to record an annual output of between 8 million carats and 10 million carats.