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Angola liberalizes mining industry

19 october 2020

Angola is experiencing a new moment in its political history, with governance now led by the new President of the republic, João Manuel Gonçalves Lourenço, who replaced José Eduardo dos Santos, who led the country's destinies for 38 years.

The new Head of State chose to fight corruption, impunity and nepotism as the banner of his government but at the same time has listed reforms in different sectors of the national life, such as the bet on the diversification of the national economy with a strong bet on agriculture. The basis of an entire economy that aims to be revitalized.

With an economy strongly marked by one commodity, oil; with the volatility that is registered in the price of this important product in the international market and with the constant measures. From the point of view of its production, the Executive led by João Lourenço decided to invest heavily in other strategic economic domains, such as Mining, for his contribution to the General State Budget (OGE).

The idea is to leverage the national economy, faced with a stark crisis since 2014.

The mining sector, which only had diamond mining as its main reference, now shows itself with other strengths, with the identification of several areas that can serve as a great incentive for an economy that needs to gain substances.

The Angolan government needs to attract other investigators, having produced strong changes to the previous legislation, the most noticeable aspect being the liberalization of sales that, until recently, was subject to the logic of the preferential buyer.

Hence, the holder of the Angolan Executive Branch has decided to enact Presidential Decree No. 146/20, of 26 May 2020, with a view to creating a new favorable business environment, with the aim of attracting more and more national and international investments.

This new presidential decree has the advantage of bringing multiple advantages, since, in the first phase; it eliminates conflicts of interest and the influence of the State in this sector of the economy.

With that, it is thought to increase efficiency in the sector and, at the same time, to guarantee better use of the revenues resulting from mining.

The Angolan government wants, with this, to improve the predictability of the financial flows essential for the development of the country, to promote the increase of the production and tax collection.

So much so that the Angolan Executive decided to distribute the areas of activity in the sector for better regulation. Thus, the Ministry of Mineral Resources, Oil and Gas will only concern itself with the mining sector's coordination policies and strategy.

The ministerial department is also responsible for formulating the strategic vision and promoting local content and the mineral value chain.

The main role in this sector is reserved for the National Agency for Mineral Resources (ANRM), a body recently created by the Executive, with the aim of launching mining concessions for the free market, at the same time negotiating and creating mining concession contracts.

The agency will also provide technical treatment of the granting of mining titles.

The Geological Institute of Angola, in turn, is responsible for the geological mapping of Angola, while the Diamond Society (SODIAM) will remain the public agency for the commercialization of the strategic mineral.

This function will be transferred to the future Diamond Exchange, a structure to be created soon to ensure diamond transactions in Angola, under the supervision of SODIAM.

Thus, the role of concessionaire previously reserved to the Angolan Diamond Company (ENDIAMA) ceases to exist, and is limited to mining operations throughout the diamond industry chain.

That is, ENDIAMA will now be responsible for the recognition, prospecting, research, production, treatment and marketing of diamonds.

With this restructuring, ENDIAMA could be transformed into a public limited company with the partial dispersion of its capital on the stock exchange.

Dias Francisco, correspondent of Rough&Polished in Angola