The Catoca kimberlite pipe in Lunda Sul is the fourth-largest diamond-rich rock formation on Earth in terms of surface area. Kimberlite pipes are vertical tubes of igneous rock which can contain diamonds.


***FEB 9 UPDATE: THIS FIELD TRIP IS NOW FULL. *** An Angola Field Group member has kindly offered to organize a field trip to visit the Catoca diamond mine in the province of Lunda Sul where diamonds are mined from a large kimberlite pipe. Catoca is considered the world’s 4th biggest diamond mine in terms of size and we will be allowed to visit the giant 250 meter deep pit which measures 1200 meters by 1500 meters.

The plant is where the rock from the pit is processed.

This will be a one-day trip on private charter (company is AEROJET, plane is Embrair) , meeting at the airport at 6:00 AM on Saturday (date to be confirmed) and flying to Saurimo, the capital city of Lunda Sul where we will be transported by bus to Catoca, 30 kilometers from Saurimo. We will be offered lunch at the site and should be back in Luanda by approximately 5:00 PM. The only costs incurred is the cost of the flight which will be approximately $200.00 return per person.

Catoca camp with the pit in the background. The camp provides living and recreational facilities for the workers and office facilities.

Konstantin Grave, Managing Director of the Luanda branch of ALROSA, is organizing the trip which is scheduled for February 27th but due to his work schedule this date is still provisional and there is a chance it may be set back one or two weeks although every attempt will be made to keep it this date.

Angola is known for its high quality diamonds.

This field trip is a unique opportunity to see a big working diamond mine up close. We have recently had people sign up for field trips and then not show up. We only want people who seriously intend to go to sign up, therefore if you are interested please send an email to: with your name, your company’s name and your position in the company plus your cell phone number. In approximately a week’s time we will send a confirmation email with exact details including what airport we will leave from and what time.

Angola’s Catoca diamond mine.

All photos in this post courtesy Konstantin Grave.