The Irkutsk regional administration is planning to sign an agreement with the ALROSA diamond monopolist on joint exploration of diamond deposits in the Irkutsk region. As the regional administration reported to RBC, this statement was made by deputy head of administration Alexander Rudik.
The company has recently applied to the regional administration for a permission to execute geological research of a field in the Katan district. The application of the company, coordinated with the regional administration, is currently being considered by the Russian Ministry of Natural Resources. If the Ministry issues a license for the requested activities, the administration and the company will sign a collaboration agreement before 2003. Diamond deposits can be found in other parts of the region, too. The exploration of diamond fields in the region can last 5 to 10 years.
ALROSA has already stated its intention to expand its business in other regions of Russia. The company purchased 27 percent in the Severalmaz diamond producer (Arkhangelsk), which had a license for the exploitation of the Lomonosov diamond field, the largest in Europe. Additionally, the company planned to establish a joint venture with Ashton Mining (Australia) for exploration operations in Karelia. It is planned to start exploration in the Primosky and Leningrad regions, too, the SIA news agency reported.