– The measures are part of the general lines of the sectoral development plan of the Ministry of Mineral Resources, Oil and Gas 2023-2027

Sebastian Panzo*

Over the next forty-eight months, Angola intends to modernize its geological mining activity by increasing investment in research into critical minerals to the energy transition, the production of rough diamonds and their cutting, as well as the gradual increase in the exploration of ornamental rocks and gold.

In the first two weeks of this month of May, the Minister of Mineral Resources, Oil and Gas (MIREMPET) gathered the Sector’s decision makers to define the steps until 2027, in the VIII Extended Consultative Council of MIREMPET, organized in the province of Uíge.

“We decided on important issues that will revolutionize the sector of Mineral Resources, Oil and Gas”, said Minister Diamantino Pedro Azevedo.

For the Mineral Resources Sector, the Government of Angola has just defined six priority actions, where strategic minerals, diamonds, ornamental rocks and gold and iron exploration dominate the attention.

The six priority areas are namely: supporting producers to increase the production of precious stones and precious metals and extending the downstream value chain, supporting producers to increase the production of dimension stones, ensuring the use of non-metallic mineral resources, namely, phosphates, potash and dolomitic limestone, support producers to increase the production of ferrous metals, increase the diamond cutting capacity in the country, through the construction of new factories and increase Angola’s geological knowledge, aiming at the elaboration of maps and updating the inventory of mineral resources in the country.

Precious stones and metals – the country intends to extend the chain of annual production of diamonds from 8.72 million carats in 2021 to 17.53 million carats in 2027. At the same time, Angola intends to increase the production of gold from 1, 37 thousand fine ounces in 2021 to 13.18 thousand fine ounces in 2027.

Restructuring of ENDIAMA E.P – Angola is restructuring its state-owned diamond exploration company, with the following objectives: to respond to the imperatives of the sector’s new organizational model, namely with regard to the transition from a national diamond concessionaire to a mining company ( DP nº 143/20 of May 26), to obtain competitiveness gains for the national industry, with companies able to compete internationally, within a demanding, uncertain and volatile context, to consolidate the institution as a diamond company operating throughout the chain of value and expand its operations to other minerals.

Ornamental stones – the production of ornamental stones increases from 83.34 thousand m³ in 2021 to 134.22 thousand m³ in 2027. However, by 2027, the Government of Angola plans to build a Stones Development Center Hub in the province of Namibe.

Non-metallic minerals – the country wants to ensure the use of non-metallic mineral resources, namely phosphates, potassium and dolomitic limestone for soil correction, increasing the production of dolomitic limestone from 15.75 thousand m³ in 2021 to 21.26 thousand m³ in 2027. In the same period, it is projected that the production of phosphates should reach 252 thousand metric tons.

Ferrous metals – Angola intends to support producers to increase production of ferrous metals, namely both iron production, which should increase from 157.8 thousand metric tons in 2021 to 600.0 thousand metric tons in 2027, and manganese, which should increase from 47.0 thousand metric tons in 2021 to 85 thousand metric tons in 2027.

Manufacturing units – Angola also intends to increase its diamond cutting capacity, through the construction of new factories. Indeed, in terms of cutting, it is intended, by 2027, that the annual cutting of rough diamonds in the country should reach 21,326 carats. At the same time, plans are being made to build 19 new diamond cutting factories in the Saurimo Diamond Hub, under the responsibility of SODIAM E.P; ENDIAMA E.P joins forces, in the same period, to build 10 diamond cutting factories, 4 in the province of Lunda Norte and 6 in the province of Lunda Sul. Meanwhile, similarly to Saurimo, the Dundo Diamond Cutting Hub will be built.

Geology – the country also intends to increase Angola’s geological knowledge, with a view to drawing up maps and updating the inventory of mineral resources in the country, expanding current capacity with the conclusion of the National Geology Plan (PLANAGEO), through the preparation of 56 geological maps referring to the East region of the country.

We are committed to improving the legal framework, as well as other measures that we consider important”, said Director of Planning Alexandre Garett.

The programs take into account the three fundamental priorities that assume the role of determinants of economic and social development: Development of Human Capital – with emphasis on education, health, employment, entrepreneurship and professional training; Modernization and Expansion of the country’s Infrastructure – with emphasis on mobility, roads, railways, housing, energy and water, diversification of the Economy – with emphasis on improving the business environment, which includes agribusiness, industry, fisheries and tourism, and the sectors must identify the actions that contribute to the achievement of these objectives”, added Garett.

Angola also defines the following priorities:

  • Develop a specific program to improve geological knowledge regarding the minerals needed for the energy transition, including lithium, nickel, zinc, niobium, tantalum and rare earth element minerals,
  • Implement the Integrated Management Information System for Angola’s Mineral Resources (SIGIRMA), with the aim of automating the mining licensing and cadastre process.
  • Start production of copper, niobium and rare earth minerals,
  • Promote the construction of Siderurgiado Namibe, aiming at the production of steel,
  • Ensure and defend Angola’s strategic interests within the scope of the Kimberley Process Certification System (SCPK).

Meanwhile, the Angolan authorities, although they want growth, intend to do so in line with the African Mining Vision (Agenda 2063), in the following aspects: improving the quality of geoscience data; improvement of contract negotiation capacity; improvement of the governance capacity of the Mineral Resources Sector; improvement of the capacity to generate mineral wealth; addressing infrastructure constraints in Africa; or the rise of artisanal and small-scale mining.

Our purpose is to exploit the local potential”, said Diamantino Azevedo at MIREMPET’s VIII Extended Consultative Council, which brought together 340 participants.

Luanda Angola