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Russian major to set up diamond base in India



Russian diamond mining major ALROSA is setting up base in India at a time the gem and jewellery industry is fighting the fallout of the ?13,700-crore Nirav Modi-PNB scam and has drawn up plans to launch its own brand of diamonds on the lines of Rio Tinto’s Nazraana and De Beers Forevermark.

“Initially, we are setting up our base at Bharat Diamond Bourse and we will expand as our business grows in India. We will actively get involved with the industry in preventing synthetic diamonds from entering India,” Jim Vimadalal, director, ALROSA India, told ET.

ALROSA, a global leader in rough diamond mining, accounts for about 30% of world diamond production. It conducts mining operations in many locations across Russia – in the Republic of Sakha (Yakutia) and Arkhangelsk region. In 2017, it produced 39.6 million carats of rough diamonds. India accounts for 16% of ALROSA’s rough diamond sales.

Vimadalal said ALROSA has plans to launch its own brand of diamonds for the Indian market to be launched in 2019 or 2020.

“To a certain extent customers are worried. The April-July sales are expected to be on the lower side. But eventually it will bounce back. We are aware that banks are asking for higher collaterals for funding the gem and jewellery sector. We are open to the idea of providing assistance to the banks, if at all they want to share some insight about the trade and market scenario which may help them in lending to the sector,” Vimadalal said.

In February, just after the PNBNSE case surfaced, exports of cut and polished diamonds from India dropped 6.11% to 30.68 lakh carats. Asked whether ALROSA has sought for presumptive tax structure with the government for trading of diamonds at the special notified zone (SNX) in Bharat Diamond Bourse, Vimadalal said a team from ALROSA has already made a presentation to the government.

At present, diamond manufacturers can view diamonds from miners such as Rio Tinto, De Beers, ALROSA and others at SNZ and bid but they cannot procure it locally. They have to buy diamonds from Belgium, Dubai, Singapore and Russia despite successful bidding at the SNZ. If they could buy rough diamonds on the spot, their transaction cost would go down.

Courtesy : Economic Times

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