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Catoca cuts production as diamond sales drop in response to Covid-19 pandemic

21 may 2020

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Image credit: ALROSA

Angola’s largest diamond mining company, Sociedade Mineira de Catoca, has partially suspended its prospecting activities and reduced its production and treatment capacity in response to a drop in sales caused by the Covid-19 pandemic.
The company was quoted by Novo Jornal as saying in a statement that it had also postponed some investments and had decided to adjust its operating expenses.
Catoca’s shareholders were state-owned diamond company Endiama and Russian group Alrosa, with equal holdings of 41%, while the remaining 18% was held by LL International Holding B.V.
Endiama said last week that Angola will this year produce 8 million carats from the initial target of 10 million carats.
Catoca produces about 80% of Angola’s annual diamond output.
Most diamond companies have suspended their sales due to travel restrictions imposed to contain the virus.
De Beers has since resorted to online diamond sales after cancelation of monthly sightholder sales in Gaborone.
The Gem & Jewellery Export Promotion Council (GJEPC) of India, the Bharat Diamond Bourse (BDB) and other trade organisations had encouraged rough importers to voluntarily reduce rough diamond imports from May 15, to help preserve inventory value and maintain the strength of the Indian diamond industry.
However, this has since been shifted to June 1, which explains our report this week that Angola’s national diamond trading company, Sodiam had sold five parcels of rough diamonds produced by Catoca to three Indian companies.
  
Mathew Nyaungwa, Editor in Chief of the African Bureau, Rough&Polished