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Angola’s Catoca Mining Society has said it will start exploring two fields in Zimbabwe for diamonds in 2014
According to the Zimbabwe Mail, Angola geology and mining minister Francisco Queiroz revealed the plans shortly after the two countries signed a mining agreement.
Queiroz said, “The mining agreement could pave the way for Angola to explore Zimbabwe for other minerals besides diamonds.” He added that the country was in advance talks with Zimbabwe for other companies to start operating in the southern African nation.
The Catoca mine is a major contributor to Angola's diamond industry and is managed by the Catoca Mining Society. About three-quarters of the diamonds extracted in Angola come from this mine, which is touted to be the world's fourth largest diamond reserve, the news agency reported. Russia's Alrosa had estimated that the Catoca mine had 1,500 kimberlites (diamond bearing volcanic rocks).
Alrosa and Angola's state-owned Endiama each own 32.8 per cent of the Catoca mine. Odebrecht of Brazil owns a 16.4 per cent interest and the Diamond Finance CY BV Group owns the remaining stake in the mine, according to company sources.
Earlier this year, the European Union agreed to lift sanctions on the Zimbabwe Mining Development Corporation (ZMDC), giving it permission to sell diamonds in Europe.