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Angola eases controls over diamond sector, to double output in four years

Russia’s Alrosa is the only major diamond company currently producing in Angola via its stake in the Catoca mine (pictured) – one of the world’s largest. (Image courtesy of Wenco.)

Angola, the world’s fifth-largest diamond producer, is working on easing up its restrictive legislation over the industry in order to attract more foreign investment, up production and secure higher government revenue.

The country has historically had in place limiting rules over diamond operations, including not allowing foreigners to hold a majority stake and a requirement to sell all precious stones mined there through a central state-owned government agency.

Newly elected President, Joao Lourenço, wants to change all of that and so allow the second-largest oil producing country to diversify its economy, which has been hit by a sustained fall crude prices.

“We recognize that the policies for this sector, established by us, do not best serve the interests of the country nor of the producers,” Lourenço said Wednesday according to Reuters.

The President has also announced plans to double the country’s diamond production to 14 million carats in the next four years as vast areas of Angola remain under-explored due to 27 years of civil war and a closed, complex business environment since fighting ended in 2002.