|An Alrosa diamond mine|
Alrosa, Russia’s diamond monopoly, may add operations in Angola, where it already owns a 32.8% interest in the Catoca diamond mining venture, Bloomberg reports.
“All interesting concessions we have seen were considered through the Catoca venture,” Alrosa’s Vice President Sergey Pushkin said yesterday in the country’s capital, Luanda. “This does not mean that we will refuse to analyze a concession especially for Alrosa.”
Alrosa and De Beers, the two largest diamond producers, are boosting output to benefit from prices pushed higher by rising demand. Global prices of rough, or unpolished, diamonds jumped 26% last year, surpassing pre-recession highs, according to data compiled by WWW International Diamond Consultants Ltd.
“The crisis is completely over,” Pushkin said. Alrosa is “very comfortable,” he said.
Alrosa, based in Siberia’s Yakutia region, has operated in Angola since 1990. Its partners in the Catoca mine, near the northeastern town of Saurimo, include the state-owned diamond company, Endiama EP, Brazil’s Odebrecht SA and Israel’s Daumonty Finance Co, the report said.
Last month, Alrosa said the Catoca venture was considering seven more diamond concessions in Angola after posting net income of $111 million last year. Catoca produced about 6.7 million carats of diamonds over the year and had sales of $527 million, the company said in a statement.