Angola

ANGOLA (EN: Angola; RU: Ангола), the People's Republic of Angola (Republica Popular de Angola), is the state within the south-western Africa. It borders at the north and north-east with Congo and Zaire, at the south-east with Zambia, at the south with Namibia, is washed at the west by the Atlantic ocean. The area is 1,246,700 square kilometres. The population is approximately 7.2 million persons (start of 1981, estimate). The capital city is Luanda. Angola comprises 18 districts. The official language is Portuguese. The monetary unit is kwanza.

(map) Angola
E.N.Kondrashov has developed the special content

General characteristic of the economy. Approximately 80% of the economically active population of Angola is engaged within the agriculture. After the achievement of independence (1974), the country has been oriented to the development of industry, the creation and strengthening of the national sector of economy. However, the development of the economy of Angola has been interrupted by the military activities (1975-76), which have been caused by the armed intervention of the South African racists, imperialist mercenaries, and their accomplices. Since 1977, there has started the restoration of the economy. There is attracted for these purposes the foreign capital as well. The state owns within the industry (except the oil industry) approximately 71% of the invested funds, 22% of the funds belong to the joint enterprises (with participation of the foreign capital). Within the structure of GDP (1977), the share of agriculture is accounted for 43.9%, of the mining-extracting industry is accounted for 17.4%, of the manufacturing industry is accounted for 2.9%. Liquid fuel constitutes the basis (79%) of the fuel-energy balance, natural gas is accounted for 10%, hydro energy is accounted for 11% (1979). The production of electrical energy is 660 million kilowatt-hours (1981).

In 1981, the length of the railways within Angola was 3300 kilometres, of the automobile roads was 72.3 thousand kilometres. The major railway line Lobito - Benguela - Dilolo crosses the entire country and continues within Zaire. The large sea ports are Cabinda and Mosamedish.

Nature. The large part of Angola is the plateau with the height of more than 1000 metres, which is steeply dropping to the narrow (50-200 kilometres) coastal lowland plain. Above the surface of the plateau, there are rising the isolated "island mountains" (of the height up to 1500-2000 metres and more, namely, the Moko mountain, 2610 metres). The shore line is weakly dissected, there are few natural harbours. Angola is situated within the sub-equatorial zone of the southern hemisphere (mainly within the zone of savannas and woodlands). The climate of the internal part of the country is equatorial with monsoon winds, at the coast is tropical with trade winds, the average monthly temperature is 15-29 degrees Celsius. The precipitation is from 50 millimetres per year (at the south) to 1500 millimetres (within the central areas). The largest rivers, namely, Cuanza (partially navigable, 240 kilometres) and Cunene, flow into the Atlantic ocean; there is within the north-eastern part of Angola the river network of the Congo river basin. The rivers are abundant with rapids and waterfalls.

Geological structure. Angola is situated with its larger part at the west of the Kasai-Angolan shield of the African platform, which is formed by the Lower pre-Cambrian granite-gneisses, gneisses and crystalline schists, and also by the meta-volcanogenic-sedimentary strata, with which there are associated the magnetite-hematite ores. These complexes are intruded by the large gabbro-anorthositic Kunene massif (2100 million years), and are overlain by the Upper Proterozoic carbonatic-terrigenous deposits of the thickness of up to 10 kilometres at the north and east, where they form the epi-platformal folding belts of the West Congo and Katanga; there are associated with these deposits the sedimentary iron and manganese ores, stratiform and veinous polymetallic mineralization. There is developed within the central and eastern part of the country the less than thick cover, which is formed by the continental depositions of the Carboniferous, Permian, and meso-Cenozoic ages, to which there are confined the manifestations of the lignite, diamondiferous conglomerates and placer deposits. There are developed within the limits of the littoral Cuanza and Lower Congo depressions the sedimentary depositions of the meso-Cenozoic age with the deposits of oil and gas, phosphorites, rock salt (which is forming the cores of the salt domes), gypsum and sulfur. There extends from the coast through the central part of the country along the north-eastern direction the series of the regional faults, which are controlling the placement of the carbonatite massifs (with copper and rare metal mineralization, apatites), and diamondiferous kimberlite dikes and pipes of the Mesozoic age.

The hydrogeological conditions of Angola have not been well studied. The aquifers are mainly confined to the zones of fracturing within the bedrocks within the limits of the tectonic disturbances, and also to the zones of the contacts of the sedimentary and erupted rocks. The underground waters are embedded at the depth of 20-40 metres.

Minerals. There have been discovered and explored within Angola the fields of oil and gas, deposits of ores of iron, diamonds, and also the ores of manganese, copper, gold (see the table).

There are known the deposits of the bauxites, phosphorites, gypsum and sulfur. Angola holds the 6th place within Africa in oil reserves. The fields of oil and gas are situated within the coastal zone, primarily on the shelf within the limits of the Lower Congo (approximately 30 fields) and Cuanza (approximately 10 fields) depressions of the Cuanza-Cameroon basin (the fields of the Malongo, Kinkila, North Kenkela group). There are within the limits of the Lower Congo depression the oil-and-gas-bearing reservoirs of mainly Senonian-Turonian and Cenomanian-Albian stages, also the reservoirs of Eocene and Miocene within the Cuanza depression. Apparently, the entire coastal zone is promising for oil.

Angola holds the 2nd place within Africa in the reserves of the iron ores. The major deposits of the iron ores are concentrated within the Kasingi region, where the total reserves of the poor (29-35% Fe) hematite ores within the ferruginous quartzites of the basement comprise 2 billion tonnes. There may be found among them the isolated places of the rich (60-65% Fe) ores with the total reserves of 40-50 million tonnes. The less significant deposits with the total reserves of 50-100 million tonnes of the hematite ores are the Casala-Kitungu and Cuima; the deposit of the titanium-magnetite ores (within the carbonatite massif) is Bailundo. The known deposits of the ores of manganese (Kitoto-Kikuno and others), copper (Tetelu, Mavoyo, Bembe, and others), gold (Mpopo, Shipindo) are characterized by the small reserves and are studied insufficiently. The deposits of diamonds are associated with kimberlite pipes (675 pipes and dikes) and placer deposits, which are concentrated at the north-east of the country. The forecasted reserves are estimated at 310-350 million carats, the largest pipes are Katoka (40 million carats), Camafuca and Kamazambo (the reserves of both are 60 million carats), and also the placer deposits within the limits of the Angola-Kasay diamondiferous province (Kwango, Andrada, Lucapa, and others). The deposits of the other minerals practically have not been evaluated. There are known and are developed the deposits of the piezoquartz (Pokarisa) and halite. The level of the geological study of Angola is generally low, but the country has great potential possibilities for the expansion of the resource base of the oil, diamonds, copper, phosphorites, and also of the tantalum, niobium, apatite, uranium.

Mining industry. General characteristic. By 1975, Angola held the 5th place among the industrially developed capitalistic and developing countries in the extraction of diamonds, the 3rd place within Africa in the extraction of the iron ore, and the 5th place in the extraction of oil. Since 1975, the extraction of minerals has decreased or terminated completely (iron ore). Despite the significant efforts for the restoration of economy, the pre-war (before 1975) maximal level of the extraction of diamonds has not been reached yet, the development of the depositions of the iron has not been started again (1980). There proceeded with rapid tempos the development of the extraction of oil, which has become the major branch of the mining-extracting industry; it is controlled by the "Société Nationale of Angol" ("Sonangol") government-owned company. In 1978, this branch of industry provided 60% of the income into the governmental budget and 85% of the export revenue. Approximately 90% of the value of products of the mining-extracting industry (1979) is accounted for the oil extracting and diamond extracting branches of industry.

There is established within Angola the governmental ownership for all the natural resources of the country with the exclusive right for the geological exploration and the extraction of the minerals (with the acceptability of the creation of the joint venture companies with the participation of the foreign capital, and of the private firms in the exceptional cases). The products of the mining-extracting industry are mainly exported into the USA, West Germany, Belgium (see the map).

The reserves of the major types of the minerals (1980)
Mineral Balance reserves
Oil (1), million tonnes 167
Natural gas (1), billion cubic metres 43
Iron ores, million tonnes 230
Manganese ores, thousand tonnes 5000
Copper ores (2), thousand tonnes 400
Diamonds (including the jewellery ones), million carats 20
(1) Industrial reserves, (2) In terms of metal

Oil industry. The extraction of the oil within the country has started since the 2nd half of the 50-ies. There has been reached in 1980 the level of extraction of oil 7 million tonnes, of the petroleum gas 0.3 billion cubic metres. The oil industry is controlled by the government-owned "Sonangol" company. Besides it, there operate within the country the subsidiaries of the large foreign companies: "Gulf Oil", "Texaco ", "Shell", "Mobil", "Petrangol" ("Petrole d'Angol"), and others. The foreign monopolies function as the partners within the joint venture companies, the controlling stakes of the shares within which belong to "Sonangol". The largest companies of such type are: "Cabinda Gulf Oil", within which "Sonangol" owns 51% of the invested capital, and "Gulf Oil", within which "Sonangol" owns 49% of the invested capital; the joint venture company of "Sonangol" and "Petrangol". The major region of the extraction is the offshore deposits of the Cabinda province (67% of the total volume in 1980). They also obtain the products within the Banze-Congo (32%) and Cuanza (1%). Within the Cabinda province, the oil arrives from the 8 fields, which have been mastered in 1966-79, the largest of which are the North and South Malongo (the capacity of the oil fields within each of them is 1.4 million tonnes). Within the Banze-Congo, there are operated approximately 10 fields, the largest of them is Kinkila (0.45 million tonnes). There is continued the development of the coastal waters on the basis of the contracts with the foreign companies of the USA, France, Italy, Yugoslavia, Brazil, Canada. In 1980, there have been drilled 24 wells: 16 of them have yielded oil, 2 of them have yielded gas. The extraction has amounted to 19 thousand tonnes per day. There are in total within the country 188 active wells, including 77 gushing ones. The processing of the oil is mainly performed at the refinery (oil processing plant) with the annual productive capacity of 1.5 million tonnes, which has been built within the Luanda city in 1958. By 1985, it is expected the increase of its capacity up to 4 million tonnes. The small oil processing plant (the capacity is 140 thousand tonnes per year) operates also within the Cabinda province. More than 80% of the extracted oil is exported mainly to the USA.

Further development of the oil industry is associated with the mastering of the new fields within the Cabinda region and within the estuary of the Cabinda river. By 1985, there is scheduled to increase the extraction up to 20 million tonnes.

Diamond extracting industry. In 1916, there have been uncovered within the country for the first time the placer deposits of the diamonds, which have become the major object of the development. In 1970, there were numbered within Angola 42 diamond-extracting regions, within each of which there operated the small enterprise for the extraction and benefication of the diamondiferous rock. Till 1975, there were annually extracted within the country at most 2.4 million carats of diamonds (the maximal level has been reached in 1971). The major part of the diamonds was sold by the "Diamang" company on the basis of the five-year contracts with CSO (Central Selling Organization) within London. There belonged to the government only 12% of the shares of the company. In 1971, approximately 95% of the "Diamang" concessions have been terminated, and the largest part of them has been transferred to the "Condiama" company, which belongs for 45% to the "Diamang", for 45% to the "De Beers", and for 10% to the government of Angola.

The volume of the extraction of the diamonds has decreased as the consequence of the military activities (1975-76) within the country, and also of the departure of the qualified cadres of the Portuguese specialists, and in 1976 amounted to 340 thousand carats. In 1978, the government of Angola has obtained the controlling stake of the shares (60.85%) of the "Diamang" company. The remaining 39.15% are distributed among the Belgian groups "Société Générale" and "Sibeka" (the subsidiary of the "De Beers"), and also the "Diamond Corp." and the government of Portugal. In 1981, the extraction of the diamonds has reached 1.5 million carats; it is concentrated within the Luanda district (the north-east of the country). They mainly obtain here the diamonds of the jewellery quality, which amount to 50-60% of the total extraction (the average size of the stones is 0.6 carat). All works during the extraction are mechanized, except the "Andrada" mine, where prevails the manual labour. The total quantity of the employees at the "Diamang" mines is approximately 18 thousand persons.

In March 1981, there has been created the new government-owned "Endiama" enterprise, which will represent the interests of Angola in "Diamang" and will be responsible for the exploration and operation of the diamond deposits within the entire territory of the country, and also for the sales of the diamonds. The sales of the diamonds are performed through the Central Selling Organization. In 1983, it is scheduled the increase of the extraction of the diamonds up to 2 million carats per year.

Extraction of other minerals. Angola has significant reserves of the high-quality iron ores, the major quantity of which was extracted by the open pit method, mainly within the Kasingi region.

In 1970-74, the average annual extraction amounted to 5.8 million tonnes. Practically all the ore was exported. In 1975, the extraction has been terminated. Since 1977, the property of the foreign companies, which performed the development of the iron ore deposits, has been nationalized, there are conducted the works for the restoration of the iron ore enterprises.

There are extracted within Angola in limited quantities the piezoquartz, salt, and also the construction materials and semi-precious (decorative) stones. There exist the possibilities for the organization of the extraction of the tantalum-niobium ores, apatite, vermiculite, fluorite, and crystalline quartz. There is conducted the exploration for magnesites, phosphates, and uranium.

Geological Service. There deal with the issues of the extraction of the raw materials the Ministry of the oil industry (oil and gas), and also the Ministry of the industry and energetic economy.

There belong to the latter the "Leamin" national Administration of geology and mining, which includes the Geological institute and Mining department.