The world’s leading diamond producer, Russia’s Alrosa, will set up operations in Zimbabwe to launch mining operations, the group announced on Monday during a visit by Zimbabwean President Emmerson Mnangagwa to Moscow.
“With the support of the Zimbabwean government, the group will develop new mining operations in the country,” Alrosa announced in a statement.
“We have opened a small window for foreign countries to participate in our industry,” the President of Zimbabwe said at a press conference. “We believe we can participate meaningfully in the diamond industry,” he added.
“We are ready to share all our technologies and know-how with our colleagues, so that Zimbabwe can establish itself in the global diamond mining market,” said Alrosa President Sergei Ivanov at the same press conference.
According to a statement issued by the Russian mining group, “negotiations held in 2018 by Alrosa and the Republic of Zimbabwe resulted in the decision to start operations in the country and to open an Alrosa subsidiary there”.
“By next month, Alrosa experts, including geologists and mining engineers, will arrive in the country to launch operations,” the group said.
Emmerson Mnangagwa, who won a controversial election last year is desperately looking for foreign investment to shore up his country’s ailing economy, plagued by currency and fuel shortages.
In March, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov visited several African countries, stressing Moscow’s interest in the diamond and platinum industry in Zimbabwe during a meeting in Harare with the Zimbabwean President.
Alrosa, which claims to produce 27% of the world’s diamonds in carats, already has operations in Angola and Botswana.