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AMN - Angola to intensify mining activity – comment by Yolanda Torrisi

Yol headshot May 2011

Angola has drawn up a strategy to encourage mining in order to diversify its economic base and ramp-up foreign earnings. The country wants mining to be an alternative source of economic wealth to oil and is focusing on diamonds, gold, phosphates, iron, copper and ornamental stones.

Angola’s Minister of Geology and Mining Francisco Queiroz said earlier in the year that the country would like to increase mining activities by encouraging exploration of these resources. This forms part of a 15-year strategy of diversifying Angola’s economic base.

He said the immediate aim is to bring to fruition 23 new mining projects in the short and medium term. Five of these projects are in diamonds, four in gold, two iron, two phosphates, one copper and nine ornamental stones.

The Minister said implementation of these projects would contribute to tackling the country’s current crisis by diversifying the sources of tax revenues and raising foreign exchange resources.

In order to materialise the strategy, he said the country needed to invest in the production of information, geological and mining mapping of all territory, with the data provided by the National Plan of Geology (Planageo). Without this data, it would be difficult for companies to effectively and productively focus on exploration in the country.

There was also a need for permanent and systematic commitment to an institutional or business environment based on the principles of transparency, loyalty and professional strictness, and international good practices.

Minister Queiroz also mentioned the need to guarantee the real appropriation of the results of the exploitation of the mining resources of Angola by the Angolans themselves, throughout their value chain.

He said this was in line with the African Mining Vision of the African Union which plans the continent’s development by 2063.

Yolanda Torrisi is Chairperson of The African Mining Network and comments on African mining issues and the growing global interest in the African continent. Contact:yolanda@yolandatorrisi.com