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Breaking Ground: The Diversification of the Angolan Mining Sector

Dr Jacinto Rocha, President and CEO, Angola National Agency of Mineral Resources: “This is the vision we have: a clean, environmentally-compliant mining sector”

On 1st February 2022, the Critical Minerals Association (CMA) had the privilege of bringing together the UK and Angolan Government agencies and the critical minerals industry to showcase that Angola is open for mining and foreign investment, alongside the Department for International Trade (DIT) and the British Embassy in Luanda.

Historically known for its diamond mining, Angola has a long and complex mining past. But in recent years, its critical minerals potential has caught the attention of the likes of Anglo American, Rio Tinto and Pensana who are actively exploring and developing projects across the country hoping to help supply the growing demand for metals driven by decarbonisation.

Paulo Tanghana, Consultant at the Geological Institute of Angola – PLANAGEO, outlined the work of the institute in mapping and identifying areas prospective for critical minerals exploration. As the world transitions from fossil fuels to greener alternatives, the demand for commodities including lithium, nickel, cobalt, rare earth elements and many more will continue to rise.

To meet this demand, we will have to mine more critical minerals and in nations such as Angola, any mineral and metal extraction must be a driver for suitable development and growth.

Recently, Angola has seen a boost in funding with the approval of a $165 million loan from the African Development Bank and a further $250 million from the World Bank. With these investments, ambitious plans for growth, and refined licensing processes, Angola hopes to be an attractive destination for foreign investors in the critical minerals space.

Angola is Open for Mining

Sally Bevington, Sector Director of Mining Africa at DIT, opened the webinar by highlighting that Angola is no longer the nation that it once was and is now open for responsible extraction of critical minerals.

“Unfortunately, very few know anything about the recent changes within the country that are now making Angola a very attractive destination for exploration across a number of commodities”. Sally credits the recent changes, and resultant investment opportunities, to legislation implemented as part of the economic reform plan focused on diversifying Angola’s economy.

Crucially, the Angolan government understands the importance of supporting mineral exploration and is vocal in welcoming foreign investment into the country. Dr Jacinto Rocha of the Angola National Agency of Mineral Resources stated, “we want to not only diversify the economy but the Angolan mining sector”.

Dr Rocha continued to outline Angola’s vision for a responsible critical minerals sector. “We want a mining sector that contributes to the socio-economic development of the area […] it is a moral value that most countries have adopted, and Angola has done the same. We want companies that are conscious about their environmental obligations […], this is the vision we have: a clean, environmentally-compliant mining sector.”

The British-Angolan Chamber of Commerce is eager to help connect prospective investors and mineral explorers with local businesses. Itweva Nogueira outlined the associations’ goal “to be a promoter of great partnerships.”

This sentiment for collaboration and willingness to work with international companies was echoed by Dr Rocha. “Those who will be last will be the losers, the time to come is now. The majors are coming, let the juniors come.”

UK-Angola Trade Mission

Eden Clayton of DIT Angola concluded the webinar by announcing a UK trade mission to Angola aimed at showcasing what the nation has to offer in terms of critical mineral potential, the infrastructure and the government’s willingness to welcome responsible mining into the country.

The trade mission will take place from 27th to 31st March 2021 and will involve UK explorers and miners with interests in Africa, investors, environmental, social,governance (ESG) experts and media.

Supported by the CMA, the trade mission hopes to illustrate the benefits of mineral exploration in Angola and harness greater international interest from potential investors.

Webinar recording

If you were unable to attend the event live, you can watch the recording here.

Webinar presenters

  • Sally Bevington, Sector Director – Mining Africa, UK Department for International Trade (DIT Africa).

  • Jacinto Rocha, President and CEO, Angola National Agency of Mineral Resources (ANMR)

  • Paulo Tanghana, Consultant, Geological Institute of Angola – PLANAGEO

  • Tim George, CEO, Pensana

  • Javier Ortuzar, Discovery Manager – Southern Africa, Anglo American

  • Itweva Nogueira, President and Executive Director, UK-Angola Chamber of Commerce

  • Eden Clayton, UK Department for International Trade (DIT Angola)

Presentation slides

Jacinto Rocha, President and CEO, Angola National Agency of Mineral Resources (ANMR)

Download PDF • 3.18MB

Paulo Tanghana, Consultant, Geological Institute of Angola – PLANAGEO

PLANAGEO_Overview of Work_Critical_Minerals
Download PDF • 3.05MB

Tim George, CEO, Pensana

Pensana February 2022 DIT Angola Webinar
Download PDF • 5.50MB

Itweva Nogueira, President and Executive Director, UK-Angola Chamber of Commerce.

Download PDF • 1.05MB

Article by Olimpia Pilch, Critical Minerals Association

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