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Industry suggests the creation of a minas bank to facilitate access to credit

A leader of the Angola Industrial Association defended the creation of a specialized mining bank to facilitate access to credit in this sector and to overcome the limitations of commercial banking, which he considered not to have "sensitivity" to these needs.

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Joaquim Almeida, president of the General Assembly of the Industrial Association of Angola (AIA) was speaking to Lusa after a debate on financing of diamond projects within the scope of the 1st International Diamond Conference (AIDC, in its English acronym), where the differences between operators in this industry and banks.

"These banks are geared towards the short term. The mining sector, not just diamonds, needs the long term, there is a need to have a bank with sensitivity to this sector", he defended.

The head of the AIA suggested a bank from Minas Gerais would have "a completely different sensibility" from that of "short-term" banks, more suited to quick-return commercial and industrial financing.

"For a mining prospection financing, things are not easy", said the association responsible, underlining the long term of this type of projects and the financing intensity that is needed.

Therefore, it would be essential to have a "robust bank" that would integrate the various banks, which would function as a kind of development bank for the mining sector, he suggested.

As for the problems of guarantees required by the bank, he considered that only a specific bank for this area would solve this issue: "If the concession title does not serve as a real guarantee, how can it be done?", he asked, calling on the authorities to work in the to create "sufficient and necessary documents" so that banks can safely invest in these projects.

For Joaquim Almeida, if before the war was an excuse, after 20 years of peace "it is already possible to carry out exploration in conditions", which is not being done due to the lack of titles "properly conceived", so that they are accepted by the banks as collateral.

"This is a problem that we have to overcome," he appealed.

The "Angola International Diamond Conference" (AIDC), which aims to publicize the quality of Angola's diamonds and attract more private investment to the market for this mineral in the country, came to an end last Friday in Saurimo.

The conference brought together hundreds of people in the capital of Lunda Sul, including ministers of mines, diamond producers, heads of multinational diamonds and national and international experts in the field.

With a production capacity of more than eight million carats per year, Angola is the world's fifth largest producer of diamonds, accounting for 13 percent of the extraction of this mineral, with the provinces of Lunda Norte and Lunda Sul being the main areas of diamond exploration.

In Africa, the country ranks second, after Botswana. For this year, Angola expects to reach the production of nine million carats of diamonds.