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Angola sees diamond rebound: report

Angola’s diamond industry is expected to bounce back from the global financial crisis with revenues of $1.2 billion (848 million euros) this year, nearly on a par with 2008, a report said Thursday.

Angola, the world’s fourth-largest diamond producer by value, expects to rake in an average $120 per carat this year after the average price fell more than 35 percent during the crisis, from $136 in 2008 to $87 in 2009, private newspaper O Pais reported.

The rebound, together with a five percent rise in production to 10 million carats, will make this the industry’s first billion-dollar year since the downturn.

Angola’s diamond revenues fell from just over $1.2 billion in 2008 to $804 million in 2009 and $950 million last year as demand for the gems shrivelled during the crisis.

O Pais said revenues are expected to hit $1.4 billion next year, $1.5 billion in 2013 and $1.8 billion in 2014, with total output rising to 12.8 million carats over the same period.

The country has nine new diamond mines in the pipeline and is seeking investors at buy-in prices ranging from $5 million to $10 million, the newspaper said.

Angola’s formal diamond industry came to a virtual halt during its 27-year civil war as guerrillas from rebel group Unita took over mining provinces and used the revenues to fund their fight against the leftist government.

But production and revenues have doubled since the war ended in 2002 as the former Portuguese colony has rebuilt its infrastructure and rebooted its formal diamond sector.