14 Nov 2017 11:02

Alrosa drafts proposals to boost efficiency of Angolan diamond sales - Trutnev

LUANDA. Nov 14 (Interfax) - Alrosa has prepared proposals to increase the efficiency of the sales of rough diamonds produced in Angola, where the Russian diamond miner controls about 33% of the Catoca deposit, the world's fourth largest producer.

The proposals were considered at meetings that Russian Deputy Prime Minister Yury Trutnev held on Monday with new Angolan President Joao Lourenco and Jose Eduardo dos Santos, the new head of Angolan state company Endiama, Alrosa's partner in Catoca. Trutnev is also the Russian president's envoy to the Far East Federal District and his brief includes Alrosa.

"The president of Angola denoted the course toward increasing the transparency and efficiency of sales in his remarks. We agree with this. We believe that it is possible to sell rough diamonds mined in Angola more efficiently. Alrosa will submit such proposals, they will be considered by Endiama and reported to the president [of Angola]," Trutnev said.

Alrosa does not have a share in Catoca's diamond sales; the Russian company's participation is limited to receiving dividends.

Angolan rough diamonds, it is believed on the market, were sold by sales division Sodiam among a limited circle of participants at below-market prices. After the departure of long-time Angolan President Jose Eduardo dos Santos in September, the management of Endiama was replaced, Sodiam was spun off into a separate state entity and diamond sales were temporarily suspended.

"It's still early to talk about specific ways to increase transparency," Trutnev said.

"I have very good feelings from the meeting with the new management of Endiama. The new head of the company is an expert in the diamond industry. He is intent on deepening ties with Alrosa, on joint participation in future projects. He said he understands that Alrosa has accumulated great competencies in managing diamond mining projects. He hopes that Alrosa will invest this competency and experience into projects in Angola," Trutnev said.

Angola mined more than 9 million carats of diamonds in 2016.