Alrosa has recovered a 236-carat, intense-yellow-brown diamond, the largest natural colored diamond found in Russia.
The stone, which the miner recovered from its Ebelyakh deposit in Yakutia, is an estimated 120 million to 230 million years old, Alrosa said last week. The company’s United Selling Organization unit is currently studying and evaluating the diamond to decide whether it will cut and polish the stone in-house or sell the rough.
Meanwhile, Alrosa’s diamond sales fell 79% year on year to $35.8 million in July, as the miner continued to allow its contract customers to defer their normal allocations of rough.
“We kept supporting our long-term clients with unprecedented measures, offering them an opportunity to refrain from buying contracted volumes of rough in July,” Alrosa deputy CEO Evgeny Agureev said Monday. “Furthermore, we decided, as a measure of support amidst extremely challenging market conditions, to provide our clients with additional flexibility.”
Rough sales plummeted 86% to $22.7 million, with the decline easing slightly compared to June. Polished revenues more than doubled to $13.2 million in July compared with $5.9 million a year ago. Much of the rise in polished sales reflected Alrosa’s acquisition of Russian manufacturer Kristall at the end of 2019.
The company recorded a “successful” sale of large rough diamonds — over 10.8 carats — in Belgium and Israel during July, and sold some “expensive” stones in ad-hoc deals, known as spot transactions, it said. As a result, the company’s overall average price for gem-quality diamonds increased ninefold for the month compared with the average for the year to date, Agureev noted.
Diamond revenues for the first seven months of 2020 dropped 48% year on year to $1.03 billion. Rough sales fell 50% to $978 million, while polished sales rose 48% to $49 million.
Alrosa has still not decided if it will offer clients flexibility at its August trading session, Agureev added, observing that the company intended to continue doing “everything needed to reach the market supply-and-demand balance as soon as possible.”