China-Angola: Is the Catoca idyll coming to an end?

By Estelle Maussion
Posted on Friday, 24 June 2022 09:22

Catoca is the fourth largest open pit diamond mine in the world. ©Twitter.

The joint venture China Sonangol, which holds almost a 20% stake in Angola’s main gemstone deposit, has had its stake blocked. Its name has been cited in several cases of suspected corruption.

The action marks a cloud in the usually clear sky of relations between Beijing and Luanda. The Angolan judiciary has seized the stake of the Chinese shareholder in Angolan mining company Catoca, which operates the country’s main diamond deposit and the world’s fourth largest open-pit mine for this precious stone.

Revealed by the Financial Times and then confirmed by the Angolan press in recent days, the seizure dates back a few months, namely to the last quarter of 2021, according to information we obtained.

Contested seizure