Angolan state-owned diamond mining company Endiama is considering selling 30% of its shares in an initial public offering in 2022.
Company chairperson Jose Manuel Ganga Junior was quoted by Bloomberg as saying that the sale is part of Luanda’s move to improve transparency in the diamond sector and boost production.
“We are preparing Endiama for a public listing and we are currently assessing the company’s value,” he said. “The state will continue to have control the company even after the listing.”
Ganga Junior said he preferred to list in Luanda, Angola’s capital, but the company’s bankers advise would be considered.
Angola first announced its plans to privatise Endiama and partially float its capital on the stock exchange, last July.
Minister of Natural Resources and Oil Diamantino Azevedo was quoted by a Portuguese news agency, Lusa as saying then that a mineral resources agency is being set up to act as regulator and concessionaire and that Endiama, will no longer take on these roles.
Azevedo said the realignment of the mining sector follows that of the oil sector, which saw Sonangol sell its non-strategic assets.
Endiama was expected to earn about $1.5 billion in revenue last year compared with $1.25 billion realised from 8.47 million carats sold in 2018.
Endiama has a 41% interest in Catoca and has stakes in nine secondary alluvial projects, which included Chitolotolo, Chimbongo, Cambange, Cuango and Lulo.
Endiama, together with Russia’s Alrosa, are prospecting for diamonds at the Luaxe kimberlite project.
The deposit was discovered in 2013 and it has reserves of about 350 million carats with a lifespan of 30 years.
Meanwhile, Endiama allegedly lost about $300 million per year for the past decade by selling diamonds at below market prices.
Ganga Junior said the diamonds were bought by three companies, including one that was owned by Isabel Dos Santos, the daughter of former Angolan President dos Santos.
“Through our own evaluation, we were losing 30% to 40% of the value” of the gems, he said. “It won’t happen again.”