Diamond Miners to Participate in Angola’s First Auction

- January 14th, 2019

The inaugural competitive bid sale will usher in a new era for the country’s gem sector, one marked by increased transparency and openness.

As part of its ongoing efforts to reform the domestic diamond sector, Angola’s state-owned diamond trading company Sodiam will hold its first diamond auction later this month.

The inaugural competitive bid sale will usher in a new era for the country’s gem mining sector, one marked with increased transparency and openness.

“It is a unique moment of great importance that marks the turning point in the trading of diamonds in our country, reflecting greater flexibility and transparency in this sensitive and vital industry for our economy,” said Diamantino Azevedo, minister of mineral resources and petroleum.

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The sale, which is expected to close on January 30, will feature seven exceptional diamonds recovered from the Lulo diamond mine located in the northeast of Angola.

The stones recovered, and subsequently offered for sale, showcase some of the high-quality production in the country. One stone in particular is expected to be especially in demand, a 46-carat rough pink stone.

The diamonds are being brought to sale by Sociedade Mineira Do Lulo, the state-owned diamond company which holds the alluvial mining license for the Lulo concession in the Lunda Norte region.

There are also 6 top-color type IIa white gems ranging in size from 43 carats to 114 carats.

The announcement of the auction is the latest move by Angolan President Joao Lourenço to open up and diversify the economy. Angola is considered Africa’s second-largest oil-producing country and is among the top five diamond-producing nations in the world.

“This first tender organized by SODIAM in Angola, is important because it meets the Government guidelines to transform Angola into a country that is increasingly opened to foreign direct investment,” Eugénio Bravo da Rosa, chairman of SODIAM, said in the press release.

“This tender and the others that are going to follow regularly, mark a turning point in the trading of diamonds in Angola.”

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The goal of the diamond auction is to raise international awareness of the quality stones that are mined in Angola. However, Australian diamond miner Lucapa Diamond (ASX:LOM) is already aware of the high-quality stones in the country.

In fact, the Australian diamond miner unearthed the 46-carat pink gem that will be included in the auction. The company also recovered several specials during Q3 2018, including top-color Type IIa diamonds weighing 114 carats, 85 carats and 62 carats, along with a 17 carat light pink stone.

“Lulo diamonds have already established a reputation as being among the highest quality gems in the world. Together with our Angolan partners, Lucapa is delighted that SML will now start showcasing these exceptional diamonds to the strong interest shown by the world’s leading diamantaires,” said Stephen Wetherall, Lucapa’s CEO.

Shares of Lucapa were down 2.50 percent on Monday (January 14), trading at AU$0.195.

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Securities Disclosure: I, Georgia Williams, hold no direct investment interest in any company mentioned in this article.

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