Alrosa to mine first diamonds from Angola in mid-2020 as market “improving” – by Cecilia Jamasmie ( – December 11, 2019)

The world’s top diamond producer by output, Alrosa (MCX:ALRS) said on Wednesday it planned to start trial mining at a new section of its Luaxe deposit in Angola by mid-2020.

The Russian miner and its partner Catoca Mining — the country’s state-owned diamond company — found Luaxe’s Luele pipe in 2013. They have since been analyzing the deposit’s potential, which they believe may turn out to be the largest diamond discovery in the last 60 years.

Luaxe is located 25 km from the giant Catoca operation — Angola’s largest diamond mine — and is estimated to have the potential to yield up to 350 million carats of diamonds during its productive life. Next year alone, the mine is expected to produce 1 million carats of diamonds worth $90 million, Alrosa said in a workshop hosted by the company.

The diamond giant spent $70 million last year in the acquisition of a further 8.2% stake in Angola’s diamond company. The move upped its stake in Catoca to 41% and gave it access to a production base outside Russia.

Diamond miners and traders and been hit hard this year by weak market conditions, which has taken a major toll on producers of small stones due to an oversupply in that segment.

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