Angolan government cancels concession to gold mining company miners work in an open-cast gold mine on March 23, 2012 in Paso Yobai, 250 km southeast of Asuncion. The once-quiet region of Paso Yobai is turning into a scenario of progress --as well as of violence-- due to a gold fever straining the relations between local residents and Lampa (Latin American-Paraguay INC), a subsidiary of Canadian Latin American Minerals Inc, exploiting the mineral. AFP PHOTO Norberto Duarte

The Angolan government has canceled the mining rights granted to Somepa in 2009 as part of a public-private partnership which was supposed to initiate large-scale gold mining operations in a southern Angolan mine this year.

The decision to cancel the mining rights granted to Somepa (Sociedade de Metais Preciosos de Angola) has been announced on an executive decree signed by the Minister of Mineral and Petroleum Resources Diamantino Pedro Azevedo, dated June 19, to which Lusa had access today.

Without further details, the document invokes two paragraphs from the Mining Code on the "suspension of mining operations due to force majeure," but also mentions the "conviction of the concession holder for the crime of qualified disobedience ... resulting from non-compliance" with orders from the relevant authorities.