The Sociedade Mineira de Catoca (Catoca Mining Society, or CMS), the fourth largest diamond company in the world and the largest diamond company of Angola, responsible for 75% of the diamonds mined in the country, expects to double this year''s production, according to Prensa Latina. CMS's diamond production reached 7.2 million carats in 2016, announced the general manager of the company, in statements made Sunday in Saurimo, capital of Lunda Sul province. In recent statements, the minister of Geology and Mining of Angola, Francisco Queirós, said that diamonds provided Angola with income totalling US$1.082 billion in 2016, a drop of 8.45% compared to US$1.182 million recorded in 2015, with a production total of 8.934 million carats. The minister, summarising the sector’s performance last year, said the decrease was due mainly to the considerable decline in artisanal production, which recorded a drop of almost 60% year on year.
In a message addressed to the workers, director general of the CMS, Sergei Amelin, said that in that order for the company to achieve these estimates, it must make efficient use of resources, technology and training of staff - in short, intelligent and rigorous management - in the face of an unfavorable global economic environment. He said the increase in prices of equipment, materials and services that Catoca needed, the increase in fuel prices and the tax burden were among other challenges faced by the company in 2016. In addition, it continued, internally, the complexity of the problems resulting from the deepening of the mine increased, given the current imperative of reducing costs to the levels requested by the stakeholders. Angola's diamond production has seen a drop in revenues since last September. The average price per carat fell from $145 in October to $116.9 in November.