|Tazua Falls on the Rio Cuango is one of the richest diamond and gold rivers in Angola|
Photo by Brian Harrington Spier
Gold and base metal potential remains in Angola, but because of the ongoing civil war in Angola much of this potential remains unexploited. Even though the country has been wracked by this conflict mining still provides the country with some foreign exchange with about 98% of it coming from diamonds. The rest of the countries earnings are from oil. Before the civil war Angola was an important producer of gold and other metals. Because of the ongoing civil war it is difficult to reach much of the country from the outside. No doubt there are world class deposits of gold waiting to be discovered in Angola.
Geologically Angola was once part of Southern Brazil until the Atlantic Ocean commenced opening during the Triassic period 220 million years ago; today the two countries are separated by the Atlantic Ocean.
Twelve billion barrels of oil have been found in the deep waters off the coast of Angola since it was first discovered in 1955. Officials at Sonangol, the country’s oil company say this is only a small part of the total potential.
Upper Proterozoic Fold Belts of the Pan African are found along the margins of Angola’s Precambrian shield. Among the most important are the West Congo, Damara and the Maiombe-Macongo. This fold belt displays the occurrence of both gold and base metals along with a wide variety of industrial minerals.
The Lower Protozoic and Archean rocks are composed of the Angloan, Maiombe, Cassai and Bangwelo shields along with the granitic, gneissic rocks sedimentary (greenstone) belts from the Angolan, Maiombe, Cassai and Bangwelo shields and the Kwanza meta-
Volcanic sedimentary (greenstone) belts are present in the south-central part of the country as the Cassinga and Menonque greenstone belts. These rocks go on to the Cunene basic to ultra basic complex that occupies more then 20,000 sq. km in southwestern Angola.
Angola is blessed with mineral riches with most of the rivers flowing down from these areas bearing lode gold and there is plenty of areas bearing lode gold waiting to be explored.