Sunday, August 25th, 2013 - MiningMarketWrap
Russian diamond miner Alrosa, which is preparing for a share sale, said second-quarter production rose 16 percent on improved operations at its mines in Russia’s Far East.

State-owned Alrosa, whose share sale could value the business at up to $15 billion, competes with De Beers, the by value. Alrosa is the world’s biggest producer by output. Prices of diamonds slumped after the 2008 financial crash and have still to fully recover. De Beers has said it planned to cut costs and use machines more in place of labour as it strives to become more flexible.

Alrosa’s second-quarter 2013 diamond production totalled 9.6 million carats, up from 8.3 million carats for the same period a year ago, the company said in a statement.

During the period its Aikhal underground mine in the Republic of Sakha (Yakutia) reached target capacity, while the grade of diamonds in the ore of its Jubilee pipe improved.

Production was also boosted by the acquisition of Nizhne-Lenskoye, which mines diamonds from alluvial deposits in the same region.

Alrosa plans to produce more than 34 million carats of diamonds in 2013, while De Beers’ 2013 output is expected to stay in line with last year’s rate of 27.9 million carats.

Alrosa’s Moscow share sale, which the Russian government has been promising since the mid-2000s, is due this autumn.

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