De Beers, which for years had problems with Russia, just got some good news: Russian authorities have agreed to expand their current contract with the CSO for at least three years. The original agreement expired at the end of the year.
Both parties urgently need the morale boost from such an agreement. De Beers needs it to boost their stock, and Alrosa, the Russian diamond producing agency, is having severe financial problems. (See next page.) The three year timetable is more than the original agreement, signed last year, provided for.
Still, the latest announcement is nothing more than an “agreement to agree.” No formal contract has been signed, but a joint working group is now preparing the document. Given the hardship of getting things done with all the red tape in Russia, it may take a while before there is any kind of signing ceremony.