What projects were on the institute’s agenda for 2020?
For 2020 the institute is prioritising the National Geological Plan (PLANAGEO), which was launched in 2014 and was designed to improve the knowledge of the geology and the mineral resources potential of the national territory at a scale that allows the promotion and implementation of the policies leading to the development of mining activity in Angola. This allows the provisioning of reliable geological information to investors. Institutional restructuring is also being conducted, as well as training the human resources, building infrastructure and supplying the institute with specialized equipment’s with the aim of modernizing the Geological Institute of Angola (IGEO).
For the year 2020, the following activities were scheduled: continue with the implementation of the "Approved Scenario" consisting of the optimization of actions leading to the implementation of the geological survey, geophysical survey, geochemical survey and specific studies subprograms; analyse and define the Areas of Intensive Survey (ALI) in the geological and hydrogeological domain according to the defined priorities; continuous training of human capital; continue with the modernization activities of IGEO - IT project including the Data Processing Centre and improvement of information systems; complete with the steps of the Infrastructure Subprogram.
The airborne geophysical survey has been completed covering the whole country and was carried out using magnetic and radiometric methods on a regional scale with 1000 m of line spacing and maximum of 120 m flight height.
The infrastructure subprogram has also been completed and consists of IGEO’s headquarter in Luanda and three regional geological services with laboratories in Luanda, Saurimo and Lubango.
Under the cooperation protocol with the Federal Institute for Geosciences and Natural Resources (BGR) of Germany, for 2020, it was planned to start the underground water exploration activities in the southern Angola and evaluation of mineral resources potential, but due to the pandemic this was not possible and we will start this task as soon as the conditions allow.
In addition to Angola’s geological database, what financial and regulatory incentives does it offer to investors relative to other countries?
Firstly, most of the geological data at the mining companies’ disposal is given free, with an exception for some data that bears a very little cost, such as the airborne geophysical data, which has a symbolic fee of US$0.13
Secondly, the Angolan Mining Code of 2011 is investor friendly. The main reason behind this is that the Mineral Investment Contract (MIC) is ‘three-in-one’; signing one contract gives exploration, mining and trading rights.
The Angolan tax framework is also competitive, as the industrial tax was reduced from 35% to 25%, in addition to further tax deductions after costs of exploration, evaluation and reconnaissance are taken into account. Exemptions are also offered on the definitive or temporary importation of some equipment for the exclusive use of mining operations.
What policies are in place to boost exploration in Angola?
Angola’s true mineral potential is yet to be unlocked, as 60% of the country’s diamond resources, for example, are not yet utilised. Therefore, the government is dedicating time and money to promote the nation’s resources. The data provided by the institute under the National Geology Plan (PLANAGEO) will reduce the time it takes to get to the discovery phase of mining operations by attempting to reduce the risk of exploration as we indicate to investors the areas with a large geological-mineral potential.
What are the institute’s plans after the completion of the National Geology Program?
The institute will continue to conduct geological surveys across the country to serve the mining sector. Another focus is exploration work in the south of the country for underground water in collaboration with the German Federal Institute for Geosciences and Natural Resources (BGR), due to the constant droughts in this part of the country. The Geological institute of Angola also has a protocol of cooperation with the Russian geological services (ROSGEO), therefore we will work together to evaluate and communicate the country’s mining potential further.
We plan to continue improving geological knowledge in areas with the greatest mining potential and we intend to carry out intensive surveys in these areas, with the aim of identifying occurrences of mineral resources demanded in the modern electronic industry and production of carbon free energy. We also plan to carry out the geological survey on the Angolan seafront, specifically on the territorial sea and Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ), in order to promote the implementation of Blue Economy.