Lukoil Not Seeking Buyer for Grib Diamond Mine, Will Operate Independently

Mining and Exploration
21/12/2015 10:28

Lukoil will continue to operate the Grib (Verkhotina) diamond project independently, reports Interfax. The diamond business is now self-supporting. Its profitability now ranges between 16% and 19%," said Vagit Alekperov, President of Lukoil, Russia's largest independent oil company. "The company carries all the costs of the project in rubles, while selling the diamonds for dollars." Lukoil is not currently trying to find a buyer for this non-core asset, he added. "There won't be a buyer. We're not even trying. This is a strategic asset. We've already seen with Eurasia [Drilling], if we offer to sell diamonds to some foreigner right now this will be a problem. [Russian diamond miner] Alrosa doesn't have the money to pay real money. We won't give it away for free, we'll continue to operate it. This presents absolutely no problems for us right now," Alekperov said. ALROSA has long been considered a potential buyer for the Grib mine.