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    Alrosa reaps $29 million in diamond auction

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    MOSCOW, July 4 (RIA Novosti) - Diamonds worth $29 million were sold at the 15th international auction for special-sized diamonds, Russia's biggest diamond producer Alrosa said Tuesday.

    The auction, arranged by Alrosa in collaboration with the Russian Diamond Chamber, was attended by representatives from 45 gem companies from Russia, Israel, Belgium, India, Switzerland, China and the United States.

    A total of 1,171 gems weighing some 20,000 carats, including 11 extra-large stones that came in at more than 50 carats, were put up for auction. The largest diamond in the auction weighed 94.2 carats.

    Alrosa is one of the world's biggest diamond mining companies, accounting for 25% of overall production in monetary terms. Preliminary data suggest that Alrosa's sales in 2005 stood at $2.86 billion, including cut diamond sales of $144 million. The company's major shareholders are the Federal Agency for the Management of Federal Property (37%), the Republic of Sakha (Yakutia), where it is based, (32%) and staff (23%).

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