Angola is a country rich in natural resources, especially oil, gas, diamonds, ornamental rocks, and other minerals.
However, the exploitation of these resources has been associated with environmental, social, and economic problems, such as pollution, poverty, conflict, and external dependence.
To face these challenges, Angola has sought to diversify its economy, promote climate resilience and ensure the sustainable management of its natural resources, in line with the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) of the United Nations 2030 Agenda.
Angola’s vision for the sustainable development of mineral resources is based on three pillars: rational and efficient exploration, transformation and value addition, and the protection of the environment and local communities.
Rational and efficient exploration aims to increase production and competitiveness in the mining and oil sectors, through improved legislation, supervision, transparency, innovation and training.
The transformation and addition of value aims to promote the development of local industries linked to mineral resources, such as refining, petrochemicals, metallurgy, polishing of diamonds, jewelry, and construction, creating jobs, income, and economic diversification.
The protection of the environment and local communities aims to minimize the negative impacts of the exploitation of mineral resources, through the prevention and mitigation of pollution, the recovery of degraded areas, the promotion of renewable energy, the integrated management of water resources, and the participation and benefit of affected populations.
The discussion on the topic of sustainability will also benefit from the views of Vusi Mabena (Executive Secretary, of the Southern African Mining Industry Association – MIASA–), José Manuel (PCA, Instituto Geológico de Angola – IGEO–), Paulo Tanganha (Director, National Directorate of Mineral Resources, MIREMPET), Jacinto Rocha (PCA, National Agency of Mineral Resources of Angola –ANRM–), Eugênio Bravo da Rosa (PCA, SODIAM E.P.) and Manuel Ganga Júnior (PCA, ENDIAMA E.P.), when they speak, in the first panel of the Angolan Mining Conference which aims to deepen the critical priority actions outlined in the National Development Plan (PDN) 2023–2027 for the development of mineral resources in Angola, focusing specifically on improving the legal framework and in improving geological information.
The discussion also aims to highlight the importance of geological data and knowledge in conducting effective prospecting and exploration activities for mineral resources, charting a new era in the Angolan mining sector: regulatory framework, vision and plans; promote the transparency of the Angolan legal and regulatory framework governing the development of mineral resources to create an investor–friendly environment; ENDIAMA’s vision in the face of current challenges in the diamond industry; investment opportunities in the rough diamond cutting industry in Angola from the perspective of SODIAM E.P.; and a regional perspective in creating collaboration, knowledge exchange and interaction between participants, promoting
partnerships that support the development objectives of Angola’s mineral resources, according to the National Mineral Resources Agency.
Angola may be a country rich in natural resources, but its executives are aware that it is necessary to reflect and act on the identified potential of existing resources in the Angolan territorial space.
INDUSTRY DEFENDS SPEED IN THE IMPLEMENTATION OF MINING REGISTRATION
Angola has been implementing policies that aim to encourage the diversification of the supply of mineral resources, but the country lacks a platform that can facilitate access to useful
information for operators and investors.
This is the Mining Registry, which is seen as a fundamental tool for the development of the country’s mining sector and was the subject of discussion at the workshop on ornamental rocks
held last October by the Ministry of Mineral Resources, Oil and Gas, Mirempet in the province of Huila.
“We urgently need to access the Mining Registry,” said Felix Neto, a miner who owns the company Kimpuanza Minerals.
“We are working so that, within two years, we can make it operational”, stated, in turn, the National Director of Mineral Resources, Paulo Tanganha.
The National Geological Institute promised to work so that everything happens sooner.
“We will do everything we can to make it happen sooner. We are in the final process of hiring a technological operator”, said the member of the Administration of the Geological Institute of Angola, Américo da Mata.
The Mining Registry is a platform that brings together data from mining processes.
The mechanism provides detailed information about mining processes, including area, ownership, substance, location, among other information.
The Mining Registry plays a crucial role in the management of mining titles and the transparency of the mining sector.
The platform allows access to geological–mining information, transparency and speed of the mining licensing and registration process. Furthermore, it helps in the management of licenses and titles held by people and companies that do not carry out mining activities.
Its impact on the Angolan Mining Sector, when implemented, is undeniable.
“The Mining Registry has a significant impact on the mining sector in Angola. It will contribute to attracting foreign investment and investors to the Angolan market. Furthermore, it will give companies the possibility to benefit from tax incentives for investment, provided for in the Mining Code. It is an attractive factor for investors”, observed an analyst from Minas Gerais.
“The Mining Registry is an essential tool for the development of the mining sector in Angola. With the Mining Registry, Angola’s mining sector will be well positioned to become one of the main contributors to the country’s economy”, concluded IGEO Technical Administrator, Américo da Mata.
EXPLORATION OF ORNAMENTAL ROCKS IN ANGOLA: CHALLENGES AND OPPORTUNITIES
The exploration of ornamental rocks in Angola has experienced significant growth in recent years, but there are challenges that must be overcome, especially at a time when the country aims to increase its global production.
In fact, Angola intends to increase its production of ornamental rocks from 83.34 thousand m³ recorded in 2021 to 134.22 thousand m³ in 2027. The country also intends, in this last year, to build the Ornamental Rocks DevelopmentHubin the province of Namibe.
This growth, authorities understand, can be driven by a series of factors, including the country’s geological wealth and the increased demand for these materials both nationally and internationally.
Angola has the largest integrated ornamental rock complex in the world, covering 45 thousand square kilometers, located in Cunene.
The main exploration areas are in the south of the country, mainly in the provinces of Huíla and Namibe.
The province of Namibe is the only marble producer, while the most important regions for granite exploration are the municipalities of Chibia and Gambos, in the province of Huíla, Lucira, in Namibe, and Nzeto, in Zaire.
However, despite this potential, the industry faces a number of challenges.
One of the main challenges is the need to invest in infrastructure, communication routes, exploration and transformation technologies.
Furthermore, the industry also faces challenges related to the sustainable management of mineral resources and the environmental impact of exploration.
Last October, after a workshop held by the Ministry of Mineral Resources, Oil and Gas, the more than 256 participants concluded that the industry and the Government need to take, among others, the following steps:
- Bring companies (their associations) closer to Euroroc and the Brazilian National
Mining Agency to share experiences,
- Work, with a sense of urgency, on finalizing the Mining Registry platform, preferably
within the current year of 2023,
- Work, under the guidance of MIREMPET, on a program for the sustainable use of rejects and waste, to allow the emergence of small local cooperatives that can exploit them commercially and attract banks to support them,
- Define a standard reference price for Ornamental Stones and measure production by tonnage, as well as work with AGT to overcome difficulties with the preparation of customs declarations and export guides,
- Reduce the cost, in a joint effort that must be developed with the Ministry of the Environment, of consultancy prices related to the design of Environmental Management Plans, meeting with the 176 consultants certified by this ministerial department,
- Promote knowledge by operators of the most varied aspects of the Mining Code, especially matters related to the renewal of Mining Exploration Licenses, for periods that provide greater comfort to both financiers and potential investors, as well as transition advantages of the Permits regime for Mining Investment Contracts,
- Study the creation of a Social Responsibility Center for the Ornamental Stone Industry (as a single channel for bringing aid to communities),
- Work with Caminhos de Ferro de Moçâmedes to increase the supply of wagons to the industry, studying ways of contributing to this increase, particularly the ongoing process of private concession to the Lobito Corridor and studies of port tariffs that are more friendly to the transportation industry. ornamental rocks,
- Create, with the Ministry of Energy and Water (its supervised companies integrated in the process), a working group to build infrastructural solutions for supplying energy and water to quarries,
- Work on a communication campaign for the domestic market, aimed at the use of Angolan natural stones in the local construction industry.
Despite these challenges, the exploration of ornamental rocks in Angola presents a series of opportunities.
The industry has the potential to contribute significantly to the country’s economic growth through the creation of jobs and the generation of tax revenue.
Furthermore, the sustainable exploitation of ornamental rocks can also contribute to local and regional development, industry observers indicate.