The Angolan President removed Chinese shareholders from the Catoca mine, the largest in the country, nationalizing the shares held by LL Internacional Holding BV in Sociedade Mineira de Catoca, the Presidency announced.
According to the note, published on the official Facebook page, João Lourenço justifies the decision by saying that LL Internacional Holding BV is “at the moment, a company subject to strong restrictive measures in the country and abroad, which led to the seizure of its shareholding by the National Asset Recovery Service and the establishment of sanctions by the US Office of Foreign Assets Control [gabinete norte-americano de controlo de ativos estrangeiros]”.
The presidential decree states that “the maintenance of LL Internacional Holding BV in the corporate structure, with the current judicial and reputational problems, calls into question the strategy of Sociedade Mineira de Catoca Lda, since it makes it impossible to access vital functions for the development of current and future mining projects”.
Through this diploma, quotas are transferred to the State, regardless of any formalities, free of any encumbrances or charges, “being enforceable against third parties after registration”.
The participation of Leviev International – LLI (China), which held 18% of the mining company, was blocked in 2021 and its control transferred to the Instituto de Gestão de Ativos e Participações do Estado (IGAPE), at the request of the Attorney General’s Office. Republic of Angola.
With this change, Angola, which was already the majority shareholder through Endiama (state-owned diamond company), now holds 59% of Catoca shares, with the remaining 41% being held by Russian giant Alrosa.
According to the Financial Times, LLI is linked to China Sonangol, which told the newspaper that it currently has no relationship with Sam Pa, a Chinese businessman close to the former president of Sonangol and former vice president of Angola, Manuel Vicente, appointed as an intermediary. in numerous deals for the sale of Angolan oil, through the China International Fund.
Sam Pa was arrested in early October 2015 at a hotel in the Chinese capital, with no further information about his whereabouts since that date.
In 2020, the PGR of Angola seized the CIF Luanda One and CIF Luanda Two buildings, located in the Angolan capital, as well as more than a thousand unfinished properties, buildings, shipyards and land, in the Vida Pacífica (Zango Zero) urbanization and in Kilamba, in scope of the Law on Coercive Repatriation and Extended Loss of Goods and the Law Regulating Searches, Searches and Seizures.
The properties were in the possession of the companies China International Fund – CIF, Limited (CIF Hong Kong) and China International Fund Angola – CIF, Limited.
CIF Limited is a Chinese private company based in Hong Kong and with an office in Beijing, founded in 2003 to finance national reconstruction and infrastructure development projects in developing countries, mainly in Africa.