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Angola is among the top three destinations in the world to invest in diamonds

The head of mining giant Rio Tinto considers Angola to be among the top three destinations in the world to invest in diamonds and hopes to start exploratory work relating to the “Chiri” concession in early 2022.

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Ken Tainton, Rio Tinto's exploration director for Africa-Eurasia spoke to Lusa in Saurimo, capital of Lunda Sul, one of the main diamond production areas in Angola, where the 1st international diamond conference (AIDC) has been taking place since Thursday , in the English acronym).

Asked whether he agreed with the view of the responsible minister, Diamantino Azevedo, who defended on Thursday that Angola is currently one of the most attractive destinations for investors in the diamond sector, the responsible for Rio Tinto replied: "It is certainly in the top 3".

"The fact that we have decided to invest here confirms, in our opinion, that Angola is one of the best destinations," he reinforced.

Last month, in Lisbon, the Anglo-Australian multinational signed an agreement with the Ministry of Mineral Resources, Oil and Gas and the national diamond company, Endiama, for a mining investment contract for the "Chiri" diamond concession (Lunda Norte) .

Ken Tainton told Lusa that there is a combination of factors that justify investor interest, including the fact that Angola has a well-established industry and has produced diamonds for a long time, as well as the potential for discovering new deposits, despite some technical challenges.

As for the "Chiri" concession, it is, for the time being, an exploration project. "We still have to do the work to demonstrate that the project has economic potential and that is what we are doing. We will start doing exploratory work in the coming months", he indicated.

"If there is economic potential then we will establish which mechanisms we can use to develop this potential", he continued, noting that the work program will run for a period of five years, prior to the final investment decision.

Ken Tainton reiterated that Rio Tinto made this decision because he believes the Government is moving in the right direction and explained that the fieldwork will look at security issues as well as interaction with local communities so they can have opportunities instead. of negative consequences. "We hope to be able to do this in early 2022," he said.

The responsible for Rio Tinto said that the company is always looking for new business, but will focus on the new project for now: "For now, we want to make sure that we can operate well with our partners and the best way to do it. that's starting with a single project and from there we can look at other opportunities."

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