Can diamonds be a millennial’s best friend too? – by Olivia Pinnock (The Telegraph – July 12, 2019)

In the heart of Siberia, the Sakha Republic is home to acres of evergreen larch trees, herds of reindeer, the indigenous Yakut people and, under its permafrost, diamonds.

Mining is one of the main industries in the region, with 95pc of Russia’s diamonds originating here, accounting for 27pc of the world’s supply.

In July, it’s hot. Temperatures reach 86F (30C), midges and flies are in abundance and feral dogs seek shade under the site office. In the harsh Siberian winters though, it can drop to -22F (-30C). It’s a world diamond consumers don’t get to see. Alrosa, the partially state-owned mining company listed on the Moscow Exchange that operates here, wants to change that.

Alrosa and its peers in the diamond industry are grappling with the challenge of a new generation of consumer. Millennial shoppers want their diamonds to be trustworthy and free of any connection to conflict zones.
At the same time traditional mined diamonds and their lab-grown equivalents face tough questions about their sustainability and environmental impact. Can new promises of traceability and greater transparency ensure the diamond industry’s future?

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