Rio Tinto may invest $385 mln in Alrosa subsidiary
Global miner Rio Tinto may buy 50% minus one share in Russia`s Severalmaz, part of the country`s diamond monopoly Alrosa for $250 million and invest $135 million in the development of the Lomonosovsky deposit, Vedomosti said on Wednesday.
Alrosa`s supervisory board will discuss the deal on December 28, an explanatory note for the meeting obtained by Vedomosti, said.
Alrosa and Rio Tinto declined to comment.
If approved by Alrosa, the decision will be agreed with a governmental foreign investment commission.
The Lomonosov deposit requires a 7.3 billion ruble ($235 million) investment for it to work its design capacity of 2 million carats by 2015.
Alrosa has to invest billions of rubles in its core deposits in Yakutia. Alrosa had made offers to Russian and foreign mining companies, the note said.
Rough & Polished agency expert Sergei Goryainov said that Alrosa had tried open mining at Lomonosovsky but water intrusion appeared, while Rio Tinto has technologies which help deal with the problem.