In its first public tender for the award of mining concessions under the Mining Code, Angola’s Ministry of Mineral Resources, Petroleum and Gas has awarded mining rights to four national and foreign companies for the exploitation of diamonds and phosphates.
For diamond concessions, the evaluation committee awarded North American company Ishangol LLC with the Camafuca-Camazambo concession located in the Lunda Norte province, and the B&A Somipa Consortium – comprising a Brazilian company with extensive experience in the diamond industry and an Angolan company already operating in diamonds, Somipa – with the Tchitengo concession, which covers the provinces of Lunda Norte and Lunda Sul.
“Camafuca, for example, has had more than 10 years already granted, with national and foreign businessmen, but in the meantime, it has not started, and in order for the mines to contribute to this process of wealth formation, we had to work towards terminating the previous contracts and seeking solutions,” said Ganga Júnior, Chairman of the Board of the National Diamond Company of Angola.
The committee awarded phosphate concessions to Australian company Minbos Resources, Lda. for the concession in Cátata, Cabinda, and awarded one of Brazil’s leading national cement production companies Cimenfort Industrial, Lda, the Lucunga concession located in the Zaire province.
The tender initially received 17 company bids, of which 10 were for phosphates, six for diamonds and one for iron, and of which only 13 bids were allowed to participate.
According to the committee, the only competitor interested in the iron concession did not meet the minimum required standards, and will have to wait for a new tender.
“Some care was taken in defining the profile of the companies that would be accepted to participate in this tender and the issue of their technical and financial capacity and experience was an important element of selection,” Ganga Júnior added.
A detailed negotiation process will follow and the successful companies will sign contracts. At least 3,000 new jobs will be created when the projects commence.
Camafuca-Camazamba, the largest known Kimberlite (diamond rock) in the world with 160 hectares, has been the object of geological study up to a depth of 145 meters. The resource carries estimated reserves of 209 million cubic meters of ores, with 23,240 million carats.
The Tchitengo concession, the result of a merger between three previous concessions (Tchiúzo, Itengo and Tchiege), was studied up to a depth of 350 meters and has 63 million tons of ores and approximately 27 million carats.