Alrosa yet to begin operations in ZimbabweJune 16, 19
The Zimbabwe Independent reported that Alrosa PJSC, the local arm of the Russian diamond mining giant, is yet to finalize its agreement with the Zim government to mine diamonds in the country. Following the government's announcement about Alrosa's arrival five months ago, the company is still to be allocated diamond mining concessions
Independent reporter Bridget Mananavire quoted government sources that said the deal was being delayed because of bureaucratic red tape.
So far, only the government-owned Zimbabwe Consolidated Diamond Company (ZCDC) and Anjin are operating in the Chiadzwa diamond fields. Alrosa opened offices in Zimbabwe in December last year in anticipation for a quick deal.
Mines minister Winston Chitando confirmed there was no deal yet with Alrosa.
He, however, said a deal would be signed later this month.
"Alrosa has set up an office with the imminent signing of a joint venture agreement with ZCDC on some yet to be specified concessions," Chitando said.
"The location and size as well as the value of the investment will be announced at the signing ceremony before the end of June".
"There has been no delay. The target signing is within schedule."
However, Alrosa chief executive officer Sergey Ivanov in January said geologists and mining engineers would arrive in Zimbabwe in February to begin operations.
"Today we see opportunities for a new stage of our partnership. We are ready to develop new joint projects for diamond exploration and extraction. We also seek to support Zimbabwe in the development of its diamond-mining industry in line with industry's best practices. We are happy to share with our partners a wealth of experience in the field of mineral exploration and diamond mining, including the industry self-regulation and responsible business," Ivanov said.
Alrosa previously did explorations in Zimbabwe for a few years but stopped working in 2016.
Alrosa public relations officer Yang Yushina told the Independent it was too early to talk about how much they would be investing in geological exploration in Zimbabwe.
"We have ambitious plans, we are going to stay here for a long time, but it's too early to start discussion about the investment in geological exploration. First, we have to solve all organisational issues," Yushina said.