By Business Reporter – Tuesday 16 July 2019
HARARE (Mining Index) – RUSSIAN gem miner Alrosa PJSC has entered into a joint venture (JV) agreement with the Zimbabwe Consolidated Diamond Company (ZCDC) to develop diamond deposits in Zimbabwe.
The joint venture accords Alrosa 70 percent controlling stake for the development of greenfield projects with ZCDC getting a paltry 30 percent.
Alrosa previously conducted geological exploration in Zimbabwe in 2013, but dropped the licences it held there in 2016 due to a reform of Zimbabwe’s diamond industry.
The agreement was signed by Alrosa Deputy CEO Vladimir Marchenko and ZCDC Non-Executive Board Chairman Killian Ukama.
President Emmerson Mnangagwa, Alrosa CEO Sergey Ivanov and Zimbabwe’s Minister of Mines and Mining Development Winston Chitando witnessed the signing ceremony.
“Creation of a joint venture is a major step in the cooperation with our partners in Zimbabwe. We are committed to productive work in the exploration of new promising areas and subsequent diamond mining. Our specialists have been working in Zimbabwe for more than three months now, and the national authorities have been of great support to them.”
“We have chosen various projects for the joint venture, and part of them is to be launched this autumn. Of the existing fields for development, we are preliminary considering the areas located in the Chimanimani region,” commented Marchenko.
Benefits from the ZCDC and Alrosa partnership include access to advanced exploration, mining technology and technical capacity; marshalling of investment across the entire diamond value chain, mitigation of constraints in the Zimbabwe diamond sector while unlocking the huge diamond sector potential, as Zimbabwe eyes to expand its mining sector revenue to $12 billion by 2023 from the current $2.7 billion.
Alrosa is one of the four companies granted rights to explore and mine diamonds in Zimbabwe as stipulated in the National Diamond Policy gazetted in December 2018.
Apart from ZCDC and Alrosa, Murowa Diamonds and Anjin from China were also granted exploration, mining, processing, valuation, marketing, beneficiation, value addition, as well as the issues of capacity building, security and law enforcement rights.
Alrosa is the world’s top diamond producer by output, accounting for 29 percent of the global rough diamond production in terms of carats.
With established operations in Angola and Botswana, Alrosa is expected to extend its wealth of experience in the field of mineral exploration and diamond mining, including the industry self-regulation and responsible business. ENDS//