Australia diamond company, Lucapa, has began mining for alluvial diamond in the Lulo region of Lunda Norte province, Western Angola. “Preliminary work in block 29 of the Lulo concession was successfully completed and in just eight days of operation 17.33 carats of diamond per 100 cubic metres of rock have been extracted,” said Lucapa Diamond Company in a statement Lucapa added that block 29 is the first alluvial diamond operation in the Lulo area since the Australian company and its partners last November signed a contract for the concession that is valid for 35 years. Angola’s mining industry continues to provide the country with foreign earnings. Mining contributes 12 percent of Angola’s GDP (excluding the oil sector), of which diamonds are responsible for over 98 percent of the government’s earnings from this sector. But only 40 percent of the diamond-rich territory within the country has been explored. This is because the government has had difficulties attracting foreign investment, mostly due to smuggling and corruption. The Angolan government loses $375 million annually from diamond smuggling.