Sodiam, the Angolan state diamond marketing company, today announced the opening of its online registration process to participate in its future competitive sales of rough diamonds, following through on Angolan president Joao Lourenço's intention to fully reform the country's diamond industry. Last year, the country approved new diamond marketing laws, with Lucapa Diamond Co. holding the first international tender under the new diamond marketing policy at the end of January 2019, marking the beginning of a new era for the Angolan diamond mining industry. This latest piece of legislation, called another milestone of the new strategy set out by the Angolan Government, allows Angola-based diamond mining companies to directly sell up to 60% of their production, with Sodiam acting as the exclusive single channel for contract sales, competitive sales (i.e. tenders or auctions), and beneficiation manufacturing.
Last year, while on an exploratory visit to Antwerp, President Lourenço said he had instructed Endiama (diamond exploration, mining and licensing) and Sodiam (diamond purchasing, sales, trade management and marketing) to change their policies to benefit the country and private companies. Sodiam has followed through on this initiative. Today's announcement specifies that diamond manufacturing and trading companies, which are willing to attend Sodiam’s future viewings, are invited to register online at www.sodiamsales.com. The minimum annual turnover in rough diamond trading required to be registered is US$2 million for Angola-established companies and US$10 million for foreign entities. Invitations to the viewings will then be sent to registered companies only at a later stage.
Third diamond cutting factory opens
The third diamond cutting factory in Angola also opened atthe beginning of the week. It has a capacity to process 5,000 carats per month and required an investment of US$5 million, the operating company said. The owner of Pedra Rubra, Hélder Milagre, said the company currently has five jewelry stores in Luanda and hopes to produce, in the short term, enough jewels to meet domestic market demand. Milagre said he had also asked commercial banks to make foreign exchange facilities easier, given that rough diamonds are purchased in foreign currency and sales in Angola (jewellery) are made in kwanzas. “We want Angola to be across the entire diamond chain,” said Pedra Rubra owner Hélder Milagre. “The philosophy is to cut and produce jewelry, this time selling finished pieces.”
“We are following one of the government’s recommendations to look at the production, marketing and internal processing of diamonds,” said Diamantino Azevedo, minister of mineral resources and oil who spoke about reforms in the mining sub-sector. He noted that “we will have a model similar to what we have for oils. We are building a development hub in Lunda Sul, and it is our wish that companies wishing to invest in the diamond segment will bet on that, which, in principle, should be inaugurated next year.” The ministry is also considering creating an Angolan diamond exchange. The Pedra Rubra diamond cutting facility (located in Maianga, Luanda) joins Stone Polished Diamond, inaugurated in February this year and Angola Polished Diamond, both located in Talatona.
Established in 1999, Sodiam is a State-owned company responsible for controlling and supervising the purchase, sale and single channel for export of the Angolan diamond mining output and allocates the country’s rough gemstones for local beneficiation manufacturing.In 2018, Sodiam supplied over 8.4 million rough carats, from over 12 different Angolan diamond mines, for a total value of US$1.2 billion, corresponding to an average price of US$145 per carat, positioning Angola among the top five largest producing nations in the world.