Angola diamond mine yield said to be $2.5 billion

The Angolan government predicts that a new diamond mine due to begin operating this year contains reserves worth about $2.5 billion, a news report said Friday.

The Camafuca-Camazambo mine in northeastern Angola will produce gems worth roughly $4.7 million per month, state-owned daily Jornal de Angola said, citing government figures. The news report was distributed by the Associated Press.

A consortium is investing $20 million in the project, the report said. The consortium is formed by state-owned Endiama, which holds the monopoly on mining and prospecting; Angolan company Comica; Canadian company Southern Era Resources and Israeli company Minex, the AP reported.

The project is for a kimberlite mine 500 feet deep. Kimberlite mines, which burrow into volcanic rock, require complex technology. The project became viable only after the end of Angola’s two-decade civil war in April, the AP reported.

Most of Angola’s diamond production—estimated at 5.1 million cts., worth $730 million, last year—now comes from alluvial deposits where gems are dug out by hand. The new mine has estimated reserves of 23 million cts, the AP reported.

The only other kimberlite operation in Angola is the Catoca mine, also in the northeast. Angola is the world’s fourth biggest diamond producer and is known for its high-quality gems.