Saurimo — Twelve licences of a total of 124 were symbolically granted to artisan miners by the Ministry of Geology, Mining and Industry in Saurimo, northeastern Lunda Sul province, enabling them to freely carry out their activity.
Speaking at the inauguration of the ceremony, Lunda Sul governor, Cândida Narciso, said the licences will help reduce unemployment and improve the living of the populations.
Quoting the head of State, José Eduardo dos Santos, the governor said Angolans are entitled to living in dignity.
In his turn, the CEO of the State-run Diamond Company (ENDIAMA), Carlos Sumbula, said on the occasion the just-started programme will reach other localities of the province like Muconda, Dala and Cacolo.
Reading out a thanks-giving message, one of the beneficiaries highlighted the dividents of the province should also benefit the artisan miners.
On the other hand, they also appealed to the Government to help them with bank credits.
Closing the ceremony, the secretary of State for Geology, Mining and Industry, Kiala Gabriel, speaking on behalf of minister Joaquim David, said the move was intended to help people create wealth, particularly those who are out of the formal diamond production sector.
He added the granting of the licences was also intended to legalise an activity that was once considered illegal.
"This is an activity carried out by Angolans to serve Angolans. The riches pertain to Angolans," stressed the official.