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De Beers Seeks Exploration Deal in Angola

Dec 7, 2021 9:35 AM   By Rapaport News
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De Beers has applied to carry out diamond exploration in northeast Angola, noting that the government’s reforms had enabled citizens to gain from the country’s resources.

The miner and the Angolan government will kick off talks in an effort to agree on an investment contract, De Beers said Tuesday.

“Angola has made significant progress towards creating a stable and more predictable investment environment in which the people of Angola can directly benefit from increased foreign direct investment,” said CEO Bruce Cleaver.

The world’s largest rough producer by value scaled back its operations in the southern African nation during the country’s civil war, which ran from 1975 to 2002. Diamonds were considered a major funding method for insurgents.

The company stopped buying diamonds from Angola in 1999 amid United Nations sanctions on the National Union for the Total Independence of Angola (UNITA), a rebel group. In 2001, De Beers suspended its exploration work there after failing to reach a deal with the country.

If an opportunity in Angola comes to fruition, De Beers “will apply the same proven governance, social-impact and environmental framework that has contributed to long-term and sustainable socioeconomic development in the neighboring countries of Botswana and Namibia,” Cleaver added.

The move comes after Rio Tinto agreed to acquire a 75% stake in the Chiri exploration program in Angola in a joint venture with Endiama, the state diamond-mining company. Alrosa already owns 41% of the country’s Catoca mine.

Image: Rough diamonds. (Ben Perry/Armoury Films/De Beers)
Tags: Alrosa, Angola, Botswana, Bruce Cleaver, Catoca, Chiri, De Beers, ENDIAMA, exploration, miner, Namibia, National Union for the Total Independence of Angola, northeast Angola, Rapaport News, Rio Tinto, southern Africa, UNITA, United Nations
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