Angolan diamond company, Endiama said it is elated with the recent discovery of what is considered the country’s largest kimberlite mine, which is expected to start production end of next year.
With a projected annual output of between 8 million carats and 10 million carats, the mine would lift Angola’s annual output beyond 16 million carats, generating more than $2 billion in revenues.
Company chief executive Carlos Sumbula told the African Mining Indaba in Cape Town that the kimberlite, which they found together with Russia’s Alrosa last year, was bigger than Catoca.
Catoca currently produces about 80 percent of the country’s total diamond output.
“I am happy to give you some good news that last year we found the biggest kimberlite in Angola,” he said.
“Luaxe is bigger than Catoca, which you know is the fourth largest kimberlite in the world.”
Although the data was still preliminary, Luaxe was expected to have a 30 year-lifespan and its reserves stood at about 350 million carats.
Endiama said prospecting would be completed mid-next year, while a technical, economic and financial feasibility study would be developed thereafter.
Luaxe was approved by the Angolan cabinet council last September.
Meanwhile, Sumbula reiterated the company’s calls for investment in diamond prospecting.
“Come and invest in diamond prospecting, so we can find kimberlites as big as Luaxe inside Angola,” he said.
Angola had 127 diamond prospecting projects available for investment.