Angola’s gross diamond sales in 2018 amounted to the US $ 1,223 million, down 10% in volume, but 11% more than in 2017, the state-owned diamond company announced today.
Fernando Amaral, director of the Diamond Trading Company of Angola (Sodiam), spoke to reporters after presenting the results of the diamond sales for the fourth quarter of 2018, at a press conference at the Angolan Ministry of Natural Resources and Petroleum.
According to Fernando Amaral, the amount is representative of the sale of 8.4 million carats of diamonds from the diamond farms of Lunda Sul (89.2%) and Lunda Norte (10.8%).
In the last three months of 2018, according to the administrator of Sodiam, a total volume of 2.5 million carats was marketed, an increase of 2% over the same period of 2017.
Gross sales revenue amounted to US $ 381 million (US $ 331.3 million), an increase of 19% (US $ 63.2 million – 54.9 million euros) compared to the last quarter of 2017, with the average price of carat around $ 152 (132 euros).
According to Fernando Amaral, the prospects for 2019 are those foreseen in the National Development Plan (PDN) 2018/2022 – the target of production of 13 million carats annually -, “so there is a great evolution to take place along the way.”
For Sodiam’s manager, the evolution is firstly to optimize what is currently in production, as well as to make new discoveries and to make new mines work.
“We are thinking about the mine of Luó, I think it will be a great value, a great added value, which, from what we are seeing now, will be perhaps one of the biggest kimberlites we have,” he said.
Asked about the fact that the current production is located 100% in Lundas (North and South) and if there is an intention to vary the prospect to other provinces, Fernando Amaral admitted that the soils in Bié, Cuando Cubando and Cunene, “where there are indications of kimberlite occurrences.”
“Geologically speaking, we have diamonds in the crystalline soil throughout Angola, and the crystalline soil covers the entire interior of the country, except for the coast, where we have the Cretaceous tertiary basins, where the oil basins appear, the crystalline soil, which is older, has many kimberlytic and alluvial occurrences, “he explained.
“This means that in the medium term, and there are now some projects scattered in other provinces, we will have to think about evolving there. Of course, this goes through a series of scientific work that also has to be developed by companies, because it is but there are great possibilities for evolution in the provinces of Bié, Cuando Cubando, Cunene, “he added.
On the auction of seven crude special precious stones at the end of January, which amounted to US $ 16.7 million, Fernando Amaral expressed optimism in new initiatives, pointing out that the Angolan diamond market is gaining ever greater international credibility.
“We have to be more transparent, the more transparent, the better, we have nothing to hide. We want above all to attract foreign investment, because who produces to sell,” he said, indicating that the future is no longer an operator, but by optimizing what already exists.
“The most important thing for us is the optimization of current production … We have to see how mines are producing, more efficient, we must see in organic terms how the mines are structured and, moreover, make new mines to work, “he insisted.