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Mining for Gold and Diamonds in Angola

Angola is the 3rd largest of the countries in Sub-Saharan Africa, and unfortunately it is primarily known for the war and poverty over the years. It is also one of Africa’s largest diamond producing countries and also produces a variety of collector-grade gemstones.

Though the area is known for the diamonds there is plenty of gold to be found here. Now that the country is at relatively peaceful compared to past decades, there is a new interest in mining within Angola. In fact, the civil disruptions have kept the majority of larger corporations out of Angola until recent years, meaning that there are vast blocks of land that are essentially unexplored by geologists. This means that there are still loads of gold and gems to be discovered.

Proterozoic Mineral Belt


If you do decide to go searching for gold in Angola there are several plentiful areas. If you follow along where Angola meets up with the Congo you find and Upper Proterozoic mineral belt. This belt is a highly mineralized zone that has been found to carry both gold and other base metals.

If you’re closer to the south-central or south-western areas of the country you can follow the lower Proterozoic and Archean rocks. The two main belts here are called the Cassinga and the Menonque greenstone belts and they cover more than 20,000 square kilometers.

Read: Gold Mining in Greenstone Belts

Alluvial Gold Deposits in Rivers

Some of the rivers throughout Angola are full of placer gold. Artisanal miners work the gravels along many of these rivers and recover small amounts of gold. The Kwilu and Cuango Rivers originate in Angola and flow into The Democratic Republic of Congo. Both contain placer gold deposits.

Corporate Mining Operations

While there are currently few large corporations mining within Angola, but the future of mining is not entirely certain. The country has recognized its rich bounty and has recently loosened its mining regulation to make the country more appealing to businesses.

Unlike some other African countries, Angola has remained mostly un-surveyed with only 40% of the territory surveyed. Conditions before now made the country too unsafe and unpredictable for sustainable mining operations and few were interested.

Angola is known to be mineral rich but is mostly unexplored making Angola not only a perfect place for future mining companies but also for the prospector. Just imagine getting to prospect somewhere that has never been explored by geologists and miners before.

Right now the majority of the larger scale gold mining is focused in the Maiombe region. This area is to be found within the Cabinda province and an incredible 90% of the entire countries gold mining is from the area. Other known hotbeds are the Kwanza Norte, Huila, and Cunene provinces but the mining companies have yet to expand.

There is also the potential for the renewal of the Cassinga mining project which could potentially produce up to 10 million tons of minerals, including gold. Suffice to say, there is much to be found here.

Safety in Angola

Keep in mind that before you visit the country you will want to look at the current safety reports just to be careful. It can also be helpful to prepare yourself for the vast amounts of poverty that are found within Angola. It would be unwise for westerners to travel to Angola assuming that there would be no safety concerns. The people can be wonderful but the country is very poor on a scale which can be surprising to many foreigners.

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Updated: December 2, 2015 — 1:25 am
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