Alrosa negotiates exit from Catoca diamond mine
The sanctions-hit Russian diamond giant Alrosa wants to pull out of Angola and is in talks with its Angolan homologue, Endiama.
Angolan's diamond mining sector, which is highly opaque due to the number of concessions, is in the hands of senior members of the ruling MPLA party loyal to João Lourenço. The Hipergesta holding company dominates the market.
Saurimo's new diamond hub, built at top speed, and presented as a key feature of João Lourenço's mining reform programme, comes at a timely moment in the president's electoral calendar, allowing him to score points on several fronts.
Angola did not respond warmly to the arguments put forward by a delegation of diamond industry leaders from Antwerp, who travelled to Luanda to pursuade João Lourenço to end Dubai's virtual monopoly over the country's diamond production.
Amid the wave of privatisations initiated by President Lourenço, Angola's national diamond company Endiama is seeking a buyer for its Alfa-5 subsidiary, but the tarnished reputation of the security firm is complicating the task.
The Dubai Diamond Exchange currently handles 90% of diamonds produced in Angola, and it wants things to stay that way. It is taking steps it hopes will prevent Luanda's mining sector reforms from reducing its market share.