RAPAPORT… Angola’s President José Eduardo dos Santos appointed a task force to implement controls on illegal diamond mining and trafficking, which have reached “worrying” levels.
The Inter-ministerial Commission for Protection of Diamond Resources (CIPRED) will take charge of identifying all areas of illegal mining of diamonds, metallic minerals and rocks, and will outline an integrated program for the protection of mineral resources.
The commission’s mandate will include drafting plans to expel illegal miners, repatriate illegal foreigners, control the borders, and form cooperatives between farmers and trade to absorb former illegal miners.
CIPRED will also take charge of determining artisanal mining areas and registering and licensing small mining groups. The commission will work with the Technical Commission for Revision of Mining Legislation (CTRLM) to help regulate the country’s artisanal mining sector.
CIPRED has six months to complete its program and is required to submit monthly progress reports to the head of State’s Supporting Services. The president gave the commission the green light to consult with national and foreign specialists if needed.
The commission is being managed by Sebastiao Martins, Home Deputy Minister, and includes other government officials in the state’s Economic Affairs and Foreign Affairs sectors as well as from the Geology and Mining, Territory Administration and the Diamond Trade Society.
Angola is among the world’s largest producers of rough diamonds, mining more than $1 billion annually. The southern Africa country also chairs the African Diamond Producers Association (ADPA) in an effort to expand Africa’s role in the diamond industry beyond mining and as a regional block.