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 the 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 percent stake to the state body IGAPE.’
‘Therefore, Angola holds 59 percent of the shares in Catoca.’
Alex Vines, Africa programme director at Chatham House, UK think tank, 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.’