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War in Ukraine: US imposes sanctions on Russian diamond giant Alrosa

The United States Government announced on Thursday the imposition of sanctions against the Russian giant Alrosa, which operates the Catoca mine, the main supplier of diamonds in Angola.


The US State Department also blacklisted the United Shipbuilding Corporation, as well as 28 subsidiaries and board members of the Russian military shipbuilding company.

The measure blocks the two groups' access to the US financial system.

"These actions, taken with the State Department and in coordination with our allies and partners, reflect our ongoing effort to restrict the Kremlin's access to assets, resources and sectors of the economy that are essential to fueling and financing the brutality of [ Russian President Vladimir] Putin," said Under-Secretary of the Treasury for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence Brian Nelson.

Alrosa is the world's largest diamond mining company and accounts for about 90 percent of Russia's diamond mining capacity, according to the US Treasury Department.

Alrosa generated revenues of over $4.2 billion in 2021. Diamonds are one of Russia's top 10 non-energy exports.

At the end of March, when the United Kingdom announced sanctions against Alrosa, a source from Sociedade Mineira de Catoca told Lusa that the measures would not affect the Angolan company and ruled out the possibility of redundancies.

The company would also not be affected by the sanctions imposed on Russian banks, namely on VTB Africa, a bank that operates in Angola, as it "works mostly with national banks", said the source.

Sociedade Mineira de Catoca is made up of Endiama (Angola), with 41 percent, Alrosa (Russia), with 41 percent and Lev Leviev International – LLI (China), with 18 percent.

Catoca is the fourth largest open pit mine in the world and the largest company in the diamond sector in Angola, operating since 1996.
It is located in the territory of the municipality of Saurimo, province of Lunda-Sul and has an area of ​​639 thousand square meters.

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