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  • Lobito Corridor Investment Promotion Authority

Rio Tinto Signs Second Mining Investment Contract with Angola



On the 17th of January, 2024 the English-Australian mining giant, Rio Tinto signed a mining investment contract with the Angolan Ministry of Mineral Resources, Oil and Gas in Luanda. The $5.7 million USD deal will grant Rio Tinto a 35-year exploratory license for the Moxico Concession. According to the company’s website, the exploration will primarily be seeking base metals such as copper, zinc, cobalt and titanium.

 

The contract calls for an initial 5 years of prospecting that has the potential to extend an additional two-years. According to the Angolan Ministry, the Moxico concession totals 9,987 square kilometers (i.e., 3,856 square miles). Following the prospection phases of the project, Rio Tinto will have an additional 35 years for exploration within the concession.

 

The Moxico concession represents Rio Tinto’s second investment in Angolan mining as the country works to diversify away from its dependence on oil exports. Rio Tinto signed its first agreement with Angola in 2021 for kimberlite and diamond prospecting in Chiri of the Lunda-Norte province of Angola. That initial deal called for four years of prospecting with an additional 4-year prospecting extension before a 35-year exploration permit is set to begin. The deal retained a 75% stake for Rio Tinto and a 25% share for Endiama, the Angolan state-owned diamond company.

  

The development of the Lobito Corridor has helped Angola draw additional mining investments. Improved logistics for fuel and equipment from port to mine have allowed Angola to dramatically increase its production forecasts from 2023 to 2024. In the diamond sector alone, Jose Ganga Junior, chairman of Endiama’s board of directors said at a press conference in early January that Angolan production would rise from 9.7m carats in 2023 to 14.6m carats in 2024. Revenues of $1.51 billion USD in 2023 are expected to surpass $2.5 billion USD for 2024. In addition to Rio Tinto, De Beers also signed prospection and exploration agreements with Angola in 2022. According to USGA estimates, 60% of Angola’s kimberlite deposits are yet to be explored.

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