ET reports that the Angolan government has acquired a Chinese stake in the country’s largest diamond miner, Catoca, thus becoming the diamond giant’s majority controller. The move marks a fading Chinese influence in the southern African country.
According to Financial Times, Catoca owns the world’s fourth-largest diamond mine.
Catoca’s owners include LLI International, a unit of China Sonangol, one of Angola’s most high-profile and well-connected Chinese investors.
In a statement released this month, Catoca said, “The Attorney General’s Office of the Republic of Angola blocked LLI’s participation in Catoca in 2021 and transferred control of its 18% stake to the state body IGAPE.”
“Therefore, Angola holds 59% of the shares in Catoca.”
Alex Vines, Africa program director at Chatham House and an Angola expert, said by buying a stake in Catoca, “the [Angolan] government is trying to reassure investors that they are cleaning up the sector.”
Hans Market, a natural resources researcher at the International Peace Information Service, said that Angola has been “investing heavily in improving their image” as a diamond producer.
He added, “All of the big players are looking at how they can get back to become active in Angola.”