Angola is losing $350 million a year, or one million dollars a day due to illicit diamond traders, Mining Minister Manuel Africano said on Tuesday. More than 300,000 foreigners have been deported from Angola as part of a crackdown on diamond traffickers, police said. Afrricano said the country had lost $1.4 billion in the last four years.
In part to help regulate the industry, the Angolan state-owned company Sodiam and Lazare Kaplan are opening a joint office in Antwerp to sell of Angolan rough diamonds. Sodiam’s chairman said it was too early to forecast what percentage of Angolan diamonds will be sold in Antwerp, although that number will be determined by the Angolan government.
Leon Tempelsman, LKI’s president, said that Angola has not yet reached its full production potential. The country plans to more than double its annual output to 15 million carats a year from the current level of six million. Sodiam also has an office in Tel Aviv in association with the Leviev Group.