De Beers Doubles Down on Angolan Diamonds: Seeking New Prospects, Polishing Processing

Diamonds are forever, and De Beers, the world’s leading diamond producer, seems to agree. In a move echoing their namesake gemstone’s eternal sparkle, the company has signed a trio of agreements with Angola, marking a significant return to the African nation after a decade-long absence. This strategic partnership signals De Beers’ intent to not only mine new Angolan prospects but also elevate the country’s diamond processing capabilities, potentially transforming the industry landscape.

One agreement, forged with state-owned diamond company Endiama, focuses on exploring kimberlite potential across Angola. Kimberlite, the volcanic rock often hosting diamonds, holds immense promise for unearthing hidden treasures. “We’re enormously excited about the potential in Angola,” declared De Beers CEO Al Cook, highlighting the “latest global technology” they’ll employ to identify new commercial prospects. This echoes the company’s successful exploration track record in Botswana, raising hopes for similar success in Angola.

Beyond exploration, De Beers is keen on refining Angola’s diamond processing prowess. Through another agreement with Sodiam, the national diamond trading company, De Beers aims to share its expertise in sorting and processing, leveraging its Botswana experience. “Definitely, with De Beers there, we will increase our rough diamond production,” enthused Sendji Dias, head of planning at Sodiam, foreseeing a positive domino effect of increased raw materials fueling local processing capacity.

The final agreement, also with Endiama, tackles enhancing semi-industrial mining “done in the right way.” This underscores De Beers’ commitment to responsible mining practices, ensuring environmental and social sustainability alongside economic gains. “We believe this is a real step forward in our cooperation,” noted Cook, emphasizing the long-term vision of this partnership.

While the potential is undeniable, challenges remain. Angola’s diamond industry has faced issues with transparency and artisanal mining practices. De Beers’ involvement could bring much-needed expertise and ethical standards, but navigating the complex political and social landscape will be crucial.

De Beers’ Angolan foray marks a strategic move with significant implications. For Angola, it offers the potential for increased revenue, job creation, and technological advancement. For De Beers, it represents a chance to tap into new diamond reserves and expand its market reach. If executed with transparency, sustainability, and community engagement at its core, this partnership could shine a brighter light on Angola’s diamond industry, benefiting all stakeholders and solidifying De Beers’ position as a leader in the ever-evolving diamond landscape.