Last week in Lison, Angola’s Ministry of Mineral Resources, Petroleum & Gas and Angola’s national diamond company Endiama signed a mining investment contract with Rio Tinto for the Chiri diamond concession in the Lunda Norte Province in northern Angola, at the border with the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).
The negotiations had been ongoing since late 2018 for the 108km2 concession. The contract covers a period of 35 years and provides for an initial participation of 75% by Rio Tinto in a new joint-venture with Endiama (25%) on the licence. The Angolan company could eventually increase its stake to 49%.
Rio Tinto has declared that works would start immediately at the mine, with first production expected in 2024.
Angola is the world’s sixth largest diamond producer and diamonds represent the country’s second biggest source of export earnings after oil and liquefied natural gas (LNG). The country has been increasing efforts to revive the sector and attract investments in a bid to diversify the economy, support industrialization and grow foreign exchange revenue sources.