New Diamond Mine for Angola

SouthernEra Resources Ltd., Toronto, Canada, plans to build a diamond mine in Angola. The company said it had the approval of its partners in the Camafuca project in northeastern Angola, including state-owned diamond company Empresa Nacional de Diamantes de Angola (Endiama), its affiliate Sociedade Mineira do Lucapa Limitada (SML), and Welox Ltd., a member of the Israeli-owned Leviev Group, which is part of the syndicate that markets Angolan diamonds.

A company statement said Welox had committed up to $18 million in new financing for Camafuca, which SouthernEra considers more than enough to meet requirements outlined in the feasibility study.

The study estimated that the proposed Camafuca site contains 23.24 million carats of diamonds valued at $109 per carat, resulting in an in situ value of approximately $2.5 billion.

Angola’s diamond production in 2000 was worth about $750 million, although estimates on output vary. Control of this diamond-rich territory has dominated fighting between the MPLA-led government of Jose Eduardo dos Santos and the UNITA rebels of Jonas Savimbi. The country could become one of the world’s biggest diamond producers, but the war has prevented extensive development of mines and has limited prospecting.