Luanda – Diamond mining giant De Beers on Wednesday signed two investment contracts with the Angolan government, marking a return to the southern African country after a decade-long absence.
The miner left Angola a decade ago over after its concession’s seven-year term expired in August 2012 and a study suggested that a stand-alone deposit was not economically viable.
“We are pleased to be returning to active exploration in the country,” De Beers Group CEO Bruce Cleaver said in a statement, praising Angola for working hard in recent years “to create a stable and attractive investment environment”.
In a speech at the signing event in the Angolan capital Luanda, Cleaver acknowledged “significant and substantive reforms implemented by Angola’s government”.
Angola’s Mineral Resources Minister Diamantino Azevedo lauded De Beers return to Angola which “will make it possible in the medium term to substantially increase diamond exploration and sale”, as well as generate jobs for Angolans.
Under the 35-year long agreement the company will prospect for diamond deposits in the eastern provinces of Lunda Sul and Lunda Norte bordering the Democratic Republic of Congo.
It expects to start exploration activities in the licenced areas this year.