Russian group Alrosa plans to invest over US$1.2 billion in two diamond prospecting projects to prospect in conjunction with Angolan state diamond company Endiama, the Russian group’s chairman said Wednesday in Luanda.
Andrey Zharkov, at the end of a meeting with the vice president of Angola, Manuel Vicente, noted the Tchiuzo project, a mine in Lunda Norte province where the group plans to invest US$200 million, which should allow annual estimated diamond production of 2.5 million carats.
Also in partnership with Endiama and bringing in other partners, Alrosa plans to invest US$1 billion in the Luaxe project, also in the north of Angola, which will ensure annual production of about 10 million carats, according to Angolan news agency Angop.
Alrosa and Endiama will also invest about 15 million euros in prospecting for new kimberlites (magmatic diamond deposits) over the next three years through the Kimangue company, which is part-owned by both groups.
The Alrosa group is present in Angola in Sociedade Mineira de Catoca (SMC), the company that operates the Catoca mine, in which the Russian group and Endiama hold equal stakes of 32.8 percent.
The Catoca mine in the province of Lunda Sul, guarantees annual production of 6 million carats of diamonds – about 75 percent of Angola’s total production – which generated sales of US$594 million in 2013, an increase of 2.6 percent over the previous year, according to figures from SMC.
The open pit mine is 600 metres deep, is expected to be in operation until 2031, is the fourth largest of its kind in the world and is also due to be the focus of new investments. (macauhub/AO)