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MOSCOW, March 15. /TASS/. Russia’s top diamond producer Alrosa has sold two batches of diamonds from its Angola-based processing facility of Catoca since the beginning of this year, the company’s Vice President Rinat Gizatulin told TASS.
"Since February 2017 our Angolan partners have allowed us to participate in sales. We have already sold two pilot batches of diamonds from the Catoca deposit," he said, adding that the deal is worth around $10-15 mln, which is "important from the viewpoint of the relationship with Angolan partners."
Gizatulin said that Alrosa plans to sell 35% of diamonds from Catoca and at least 50% from its major Luaxe deposit in Angola, though the latter "will depend on the position of Angolan partners."
The company considers Luaxe to be the most promising deposit in terms of production. "According to our geologists, this is a very promising huge deposit with at least 400 mln carats of diamonds," Vice President said.
Alrosa and its Angolan partners have selected a new transaction format regarding Luaxe, which implies that Catoca will be the holder of the mining license at this deposit. "We’ve agreed the format with the leadership of Angola, which implies that Catoca will be the holder of the diamond mining license at the Luaxe deposit. We’re currently at the final stage of negotiations and expect the permission, the so-called mining allotment certificate, already for mining, by the end of April," Gizatulin.
Catoca Ltd Mining Co conducts diamond mining operations in the Lunda Sul Province of the Republic of Angola. The facility consists of two enriching factories with total annual capacity exceeding 10 mln tonnes of ore. The company produces and sells around 6.8 mln carats each year.
The shareholders of Catoca are Alrosa (32.8%), the state-owned diamond mining enterprise of the Republic of Angola Endiama E.P. (32.8%), LL International Holding B.V. which belongs to China-Sonagol (18.0%), and Brazil’s Odebrecht Mining Services (16.4%).
Alrosa intends to put Luaxe deposit into operation in early 2018. Capital investments into the project project are estimated at $1 bln. Annual diamond mining is projected at about 10 mln carats.