Oil company LUKoil expands its activity from non-renewable carbon resources to everlasting carbon when opening its diamond mine in September. When commissioned, the Arkhangelsk mine will be up for sale.
LUKoil’s Grib mine is estimated to hold 98 million carats and with that ranks fourth in size of Russia’s diamond mines. Annual mine output is said to be as much as 4 million carats of rough diamonds, reports Bloomberg.
Drilling at the field started in 2009 at depths down to 600 meter, LUKoil says in a press-release.
The oil company is said to have invested a billion dollars in preparation work to commission the Grib mine located some 115 kilometers north-east of Arkhangelsk in the White Sea region. The field is located less than 50 kilometers from stat-controlled Alrosa’s Lomonosov diamonds mine.
If LUKoil will sell to Alrosa or others is still not clear.
Vladimir Semakov, Lukoil’s spokesman was last week quoted by BusinessInsider saying: “To whom we will sell, whether wholly within Russia or a part to be exported, there is also no final decision.
“I do not deny that for us [the Grib mine] is not a core asset. We are still an energy company, not an ore-mining company.”
BarentsObserver has earlier reported that Rio Tinto is one of the mining giants that could be interested in buying the dimonds mine in Arkhangelsk.
The diamond mines are much welcomed by regional authorities in Arkhangelsk hoping for a boost in tax income and business activities.