Russia has the most diamond resources of any country in the world. The world’s largest miner, ALROSA, has a history of ensuring that those buried treasures create a two-way revenue stream to benefits the indigenous people. Yesterday they raised the bar again. From 2021-2025 ALROSA has pledged to contribute $60 million toward the social and economic development of Yakutia (the Republic of Sakha) and local communities where its core operations are concentrated.
According to a company statement:
ALROSA remains committed to a socially responsible way of doing business, ensuring social and economic stability in the Republic of Sakha (Yakutia), one of the most remote regions at the Northeast of Russia with extremely harsh climate and sophisticated logistics.
Diamonds Do Good
From 2011-2020 ALROSA helped to build habitation, educational and healthcare facilities, sports and cultural halls, a museum and other social initiatives. They contribute substantially to the non-profit organization Trust Fund of Future Generations in the Republic of Sakha, funding the implementation of socially significant projects and programs in the region. In addition to construction initiatives the targeted program, “For the Future” helped develop cultural activities and provided access to education to young people, including children from remote communities.
Russia’s Robust Resources
Russia’s diamonds are primarily concentrated north, in Yakutia, and even farther north in the Arkhangelsk Oblast on the White Sea coast. Yakutia is responsible for the majority of Russia’s output and around 25% of the world’s total diamond production. It’s also home to two of the worlds three largest diamond mines. The Aikhal mine is estimated to contain over 175 million carats and pipe Udachny has estimated reserves of more than 160 million carats.
The average diamond content in Udachny’s ores is 1.55 carats per metric ton, which is comparable to ores from Botswana’s Jwaneng and Canada’s Gahcho Kyue mines, both owned by DeBeers. All three of these mines operate under arrangements which ultimately bring financial benefit to the workers and communities in those countries.
Ethics, Economics and Environment
ALROSA takes pride in exercising the highest social and environmental standards. The company maintains a BB rating from MSCI ESG, which evaluates companies’ environmental, social, and corporate governance performance and remains on the FTSE4Good Index. They rank among the top 10 environmentally responsible mining companies in Russia as ranked by the World Wildlife Fund Russia and a joint project of the United Nations Development Program, Global Environment Facility and the Russian Ministry of Natural Resources. In 2019, ALROSA received a Diamond Empowerment Fund (DEF) award for community stewardship.