Angola's newest diamond mine opensDecember 5, 2023
By: Miguel Gomes of Reuters
“Angola has officially started diamond mining at its new Luele project, the biggest in the country and one of the world's largest by estimated resources, it said on Monday, at a time when global diamond demand is already depressed.
Demand for diamond jewellery has been hit by high-interest rates in the US, home to 55% of global demand, a muted post-pandemic recovery in China and competition from lab-grown diamonds.
Angola's State-controlled diamond miner Catoca found the Luele diamond deposit at the project, previously known as Luaxe, in 2013 in one of the largest discoveries in the diamond industry in more than half a century.
"This is the only major new diamond mine in the world that will commence production this decade," independent diamond analyst Paul Zimnisky said.
Luele's resources contain an estimated 628-million carats of diamonds with a lifetime of 60 years, according to the project's presentation, seen by Reuters.
The presentation did not disclose the project's production plans for 2024. De Beers, the world's largest rough diamond producer by volume, estimates 2022 global rough diamond production at 121-million carats.
The project's plant has an initial annual processing capacity of 4-million metric tons of ore a year with gradual increase to 12-million tons in several years. During the pilot stage, Luele has already mined 5-million carats of diamonds, according to the presentation.”
Excerpts from Mining weekly