MOSCOW, March 16 (RIA Novosti) - Russia's largest diamond company Alrosa could become the world's top diamond mining company, and is considering buying foreign assets, the company CEO said on Monday.
Sergei Vybornov said Alrosa has an opportunity to seize the initiative and become the global leader amid the ongoing crisis, as the company has the world's best diamond resources in Yakutia in northeast Siberia, while its rival De Beers has had to cut output.
"There is also an opportunity to purchase very good diamond assets abroad - small companies that are going bankrupt or are on the verge of bankruptcy," Vybornov said.
Alrosa accounts for 97% of Russian and 25% of global diamond output. The Russian government holds a 50.9% stake in the company.
South Africa-based De Beers has dominated the global diamond market since its formation in the 19th century. However, the current credit crunch has seen gem demand plummet by more than 50%, forcing the company to seek a $500 million loan in February.