Russian diamond mining company Arkhangelskgeoldobycha (the licence holder for the Grib diamond pipe in the Arkhangelsk Region), which recently changed its name to AGD Diamonds, has consolidated a 100% stake in Grib Diamonds. Grib Diamonds is the Antwerp diamond trading company responsible for marketing rough diamonds produced at the Vladimir Grib Diamond Field through auctions held on its web-based platform. The move is intended to establish a fully-fledged diamond mining company, including exploration, production and sales.
Last year, Lukoil sold its 100% stake in the Grib diamond mine for $1.45 billion to Otkritie Holding, but the marketing and sales structure did not change: 5% of production is sold in Russia while the vast majority is exported to Antwerp, where Grib Diamonds is located. Earlier this year, the Russian newspaper Kommersant Daily reported that in June 2018, AGD bought Grib Diamonds from Otkritie Holding. According to Sergey Neruchev, CEO of AGD, the acquisition of a 100% stake in Grib Diamonds became a highly important milestone for the company, opening up a number of additional opportunities. "The consolidation of the AGD production business with the Grib DIAMONDS trading company will in the long term create a full-cycle diamond mining company of international standing (comprising geological exploration, production and sales)," the CEO of AGD DIAMONDS said.
Production from the Grib diamond mine, the source of the stones sold in Antwerp by Grib Diamonds, was expected to reach 4.4 million carats in 2017, representing a 16% increase over the 3.8 million carats in 2016. Production volumes for 2018 are not available, but according to Alexey Genkin, general manager of Grib Diamonds in Antwerp, the plan as of last year was to raise production to 4.9 million carats in 2018, and he indicated that sales should increase in parallel with production. Grib Diamond Mine has estimated reserves of 91.5 million carats: it is the 8th largest diamond mine in the world, the 4th largest in Russia and the only major one in Russia that is not operated by ALROSA.