Mining giant Alrosa revives exports despite sanctions

Questions have been raised about the effectiveness of economic sanctions placed against mining juggernaut Alrosa following reports that Russian rough diamond sales remain healthy.

Following the invasion of Ukraine in late February, political powers in the US, EU, and UK took punitive action and placed sanctions prohibiting the import of diamonds mined in Russia. 

Despite these sanctions remaining in place, Bloomberg News is reporting that Alrosa continues to sell $US250 million in rough diamonds each month.

Comparatively, in January of this year – prior to the invasion – Alrosa sold approximately $US325 million in diamonds.

“The panic that gripped the diamond world this year is starting to unwind as sanctioned Russian mining giant Alrosa has quietly revived exports to near pre-war levels,” the Bloomberg News report states.

“Most of the Russian stones are heading to manufacturers in India — the biggest among a handful of industry hubs, where hundreds of mostly family-owned businesses cut and polish rough stones into the finished products, ready to be used in earrings and engagement rings.x

“There is no indication that any sales have breached sanctions or laws. But there is still a widespread unease about the implications of dealing in Russian goods, said the people. The deals are being done quietly — even by the closed-doors standards of the famously secretive diamond world — and Alrosa has stopped publishing any information on its sales or financial performance.”

Russia produces more than one-third of the world’s supply of rough diamonds, the vast majority of which are mined by Alrosa. The Russian Government owns 33 per cent of Alrosa.

Alrosa has not publicly commented on its sales or financial performance. Alrosa’s sales average for 2021 was $US347 million per month.

More reading

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More sanctions on Russia; loophole hounds diamond export ban
Diamonds slapped with tariff as UK and Russia hostility continues
Australia imposes sanctions on Russia, diamonds not included
Economic sanctions on Russia seen to impact diamond trade
UK government announces direct sanctions on Alrosa
US imposes crippling sanctions on Alrosa; congress asks to close loopholes


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