Alrosa has partnered with Angolan national diamond company Endiama to develop the African nation’s largest kimberlite deposit, claiming the project could be worth more than $35 billion.
Alrosa discovered the Luele mine during exploration work it carried out together with local experts in 2013. The asset is located in the Luaxe region and has been the subject of negotiations between Alrosa and Angolan officials and investors over the past few years, the Russian miner explained.
Sergey Ivanov and Antonio Carlos Sumbula, presidents of Alrosa and Endiama respectively, signed an agreement Tuesday to establish Luaxe International Enterprise, which will manage the mine’s development. The deal followed Ivanov’s visit to Angola earlier this month, one of his first foreign trips since he took over the company leadership in March.
The deal has been structured through Catoca, which operates Angola’s largest active diamond mine and in which Alrosa and Endiama each have a 32.8% stake. Catoca will get a 50.5% stake in Luaxe and the Luele project, with Alrosa proposing to buy an additional 8% in the asset independently. Alrosa also intends to increase its share in Catoca, it said.
“[The] Luele pipe is the largest of all those discovered worldwide over the past 60 years, since the discovery of deposits in Yakutia,” Ivanov said Wednesday. “As a specialized investor in the Luaxe [enterprise], Alrosa, which has relevant professional competence, will assume obligations for the new company’s project solutions and technical policy. The total commercial value of the deposit is assessed as over $35 billion.”