9 Sep 2021 15:15

Alrosa, DR Congo's MIBA sign memorandum of understanding

MOSCOW. Sept 9 (Interfax) - Russia's Alrosa and Societe Miniere de Bakwanga (MIBA), a leading diamond mining company in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, have signed a memorandum of understanding to increase business, technological, scientific and technical cooperation, Alrosa said in a press release.

The MoU was signed remotely by Vladimir Marchenko, Deputy CEO - Head of the African Division of Alrosa, and Paulin Lukusa Mudiayi Kalonji, MIBA's Managing Director.

The MoU defines "areas of mutual interest and the potential for cooperation in the diamond mining industry." It describes opportunities for the companies to work together to explore, mine and process diamonds in accordance with the global best practices for responsible business conduct, sustainable development and transparency. The parties also intend to exchange technologies and knowledge to ensure the sustainable development of the diamond mining industry.

The companies will cooperate "in line with international mechanisms of industry self-regulation and international standards for responsible diamond supply chain engineering." "The signing of the MoU will mark a new stage in the development of the diamond mining industry in the DRC," the press release said.

"We express our willingness to share our practical experience as well as technical and professional resources with our colleagues at MIBA for a dynamic and efficient implementation of future projects in diamond mining," said Alrosa's Marchenko.

Alrosa's key region in Africa is Angola, where it established Catoca with state company Endiama back in the mid-1990s. Through Catoca, now the fourth largest diamond miner in the world, Alrosa also plans to participate in the development of the Luaxe concession, which covers the Luele diamond pipe, one of the largest in the world.

Alrosa is also involved in a joint venture with Zimbabwe to explore and mine develop diamond fields there. Alrosa will invest at least $9 million each year in greenfield exploration and assessing the diamond content of any kimberlite pipes that are discovered. The JV, in which Alrosa will have a 70% stake, will subsequently mine and market diamonds on a standalone basis.