Russia’s Alrosa, the world’s leading producer of diamonds, announced Monday it plans to launch in Zimbabwe on the eve of talks in Moscow between the country’s president and Vladimir Putin.
“With support of the government of Zimbabwe, the company will develop new mining operations in the country,” Alrosa said in a statement.
“This company will implement projects for exploration and mining operations with a view to establish joint diamond and other ore mining enterprises,” it said in the English-language release.
“Within the next month ALROSA’s experts, including geologists and mining engineers will arrive in the country to start the operations.”
Zimbabwean leader Emmerson Mnangagwa meanwhile told journalists he believed the country could make a “significant” participation to the diamond industry.
“We know we have opened a small window to foreign countries to participate in our industry,” he said ahead of talks with his Russian counterpart on Tuesday.
In March, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov traveled to several African countries, highlighting Moscow’s interest in the diamond and platinum industry during a meeting with Mnangagwa.
Alrosa, which says it is responsible for 27 per cent of the global rough diamond production in terms of carats, already has operations in Angola and Botswana.