No Viable Results Yet From Angola Exploration, Says De Beers
January 18, 13
(IDEX Online News) – Despite having spent upward of $250 million in exploration in Angola, De Beers has not yet found economically viable diamond deposits in the country.
Responding to questions on a press report that De Beers was confident of more than recouping its investment in Angola, company spokeswoman Lynette Gould said, “There isn’t really anything to report. As we’ve said before, Angola is a focus for our exploration teams as we believe it remains highly prospective and under explored.”
She went on to say, “With the new mineral legislation and improved investment conditions, we believe Angola offers real potential. Having said that, we’ve done a lot of work there in the past seven years but we haven’t yet found anything that’s economically viable.”
The earlier report had quoted Pedro Lago de Carvalho, De Beers' business manager for Angola, as saying that De Beers was optimistic about its prospects in the country due to promising exploration results from a 3,000 square kilometer concession near Lucapa in Lunda North province.
De Beers' experience in Angola has been rocky. It pulled out of the country in 2001 after having lost the right to market more than $800 million in rough diamonds. Four years of arbitration with Angola’s state-owned diamond company Endiama resulted in De Beers returning in 2005. The Lucapa concession is the last of five that it has explored in the country.
Angola is the third country after Russia and Canada in unexplored diamond potential and De Beers is unlikely to reduce its annual $30 million exploration outlay in that country.