Russia’s Alrosa, Zimbabwe JV investing around $17 mln in exploration, plans to start mining




Sergey Ivanov of Alrosa

HARARE – A joint venture between Russia’s world’s largest diamond producer by output Alrosa and Zimbabwe carrying out geological prospecting and exploration of diamond deposits in Zimbabwe plans to start mining in the near future, Russian Natural Resources and Environment Minister Alexander Kozlov said following a meeting of the Russian-Zimbabwean intergovernmental commission.

According to an Interfax report, Russia is also interested in mining metals in the country.

The Alrosa Zimbabwe JV has been granted 39 prospecting permits for 2022. Total investments in geological prospecting and exploration will come to $16.7 million, Kozlov told Interfax.

Alrosa concluded a cooperation agreement with the state’s Zimbabwe Consolidated Diamond Company in 2020. The joint venture, which belongs 70% to Alrosa, focuses on prospecting, geological exploration, and in case of success, mining primary diamond deposits in Zimbabwe. Alrosa has assessed investments in the joint venture at $12 million in the course of two years.

“For our part, we see substantial prospects for expanding dialogue in the area of mineral extraction,” Kozlov said.

Domestic companies are interested in geological study of promising regions in Zimbabwe, prospecting and exploration of deposits, and exchange of experience and technology for the works being conducted, he said.

“We see prospects for joint work with the participation of Russian mineral developers to replenish mineral resources that are difficult to obtain, such as manganese, chromium, beryllium, lithium, and rare-earth metals,” Kozlov said.

Apart from Zimbabwe, Alrosa’s only other presence in Africa is in Angola, where it already runs a mine, the Luaxe operation in the north of that country.