Angolan diamond company Empresa Nacional de Prospecção, Exploração, Lapidação & Comercialização de Diamantes de Angola (Endiama) is promoting the formation of semi-industrial cooperatives for diamond mining in all provinces of the country, an official from the state company said.
Luís Kitamba, quoted by Angolan news agency Angop, said this new model organises activity in the production zones and brings together the small-scale artisanal miners who operated using basic tools such as shovels, machetes and picks, that did not allow for successful exploration.
The director noted that 12 cooperatives had already been set up in seven provinces of Angola with, “all in operation,” adding that the institutions created brought together only Angolan citizens who had previously been engaged in diamond exploration.
These cooperatives give work to over 5,000 people, particularly former members of the armed forces, Kitamba said.
Cooperatives must comply with a set of obligations, including not allowing foreigners to enter, taking care of the exploration area, selling the diamonds found only to the diamond trading company Sodiam and complying with the standards set out in the Kimberley Process .
Industrial diamond production in Angola is estimated at 9 million carats per year, which may increase to 13.8 million carats per year by 2022. (source: macauhub)