Russia-based diamond producer Alrosa and Zimbabwe national diamond miner Zimbabwe Consolidated Diamond Co. (ZCDC) have signed a joint-venture agreement to develop diamond deposits in Zimbabwe. According to the terms of the agreement, Alrosa gets a 70% controlling stake for the development of greenfield projects, while ZCDC holds 30%.

Initially, the joint venture will be engaged in geological exploration for greenfield deposits. Further objectives of cooperation will include diamond mining and independent sale of rough diamonds in external markets.

The new joint venture will work not only on licenses currently held by ZCDC but also throughout the country. If a new prospective area is discovered, the company will directly contact the Zimbabwe Ministry of Mines and Mining Development requesting a new license for the area.

The joint-venture agreement was signed in mid-July by Alrosa Deputy CEO Vladimir Marchenko and ZCDC Non-Executive Board Chairman Killian Ukama. The President of the Republic of Zimbabwe Emmerson Mnangagwa and Alrosa CEO Sergey Ivanov attended the signing ceremony.

Marchenko said, “Creation of a joint venture is a major step in our cooperation with our partners in Zimbabwe. We are committed to productive work in the exploration of promising new areas and subsequent diamond mining. Our specialists have been working in Zimbabwe for more than three months now, and the national authorities have been of great support to them.

“We have chosen various projects for the joint venture, and part of them will be launched this autumn. Of the existing fields for development, we are initially considering the areas located in the Chimanimani region.”

Alrosa established an affiliated company in Zimbabwe, Alrosa (Zimbabwe) Ltd., in December 2018 for the implementation of projects in mineral prospecting, exploration, and mining operations with a view to creating joint diamond-mining and other mining enterprises.

Alrosa operates in seven countries and across ten regions in Russia and accounts for almost one-third of global rough diamond production.