Russia’s Alrosa discovers 22 new diamond deposits in Zimbabwe, says Mnangagwa

Emmerson Mnangagwa, president, Zimbabwe

ALROSA, Russia’s diamond mining firm, has discovered 22 new diamond deposits in Zimbabwe, said Bloomberg News citing the comments of the southern African country’s president, Emmerson Mnangagwe.

Alrosa will only be allowed to work on two of the diamond deposits, while the rest will be made available to other investors, Zimbabwe’s Information Ministry said, citing comments by Mnangagwa in New York at the weekend. The president attended a business meeting on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly.

In 2019, Alrosa signed an agreement with the state-owned Zimbabwe Mining Development Corp. to jointly explore for gems in the country. At the time, the company said it would spend $12m exploring some of the 40 diamond mining rights it holds in the country.

Many in the diamond industry refuse to deal in Russian gems following the invasion of Ukraine and after mining giant Alrosa was hit with US sanctions.

It has been speculated that a reduction in diamond supply as a result of sanctions would help support diamond prices. However, sanctions don’t exclude polished goods which opens a pathway to buying centres such as Dubai via diamantaires in former CIS countries.

Bruce Cleaver, CEO of De Beers, told Miningmx in July that while perceptions of stunted Russia supply added some lustre to diamond prices, “I’m not convinced provenance alone is going to give rise to a premium”.

De Beers has launched a code of origin programme, which also seeks to “tell wonderful stories” about where diamonds come through may though drive premium “in the rough” for the group, said Cleaver. “That’s enabled by provenance but it’s not provenacne that’s going to deliver that – it’s the brand that’s going to do it.”