AGD Diamonds, owner of Grib Diamonds, which sells rough from Russia’s sole nongovernment diamond mine, has been put into bankruptcy by VTB Bank, the latter confirmed to JCK.
According to a report in Russian newspaper Kommersant, Moscow-based VTB, which is considered AGD Diamond’s leading creditor, has now effectively taken over the company. The paper added that local lawyers believe that is why VTB forced the diamond miner into bankruptcy.
The bank, on the other hand, contended via email that “VTB initiated bankruptcy proceedings against AGD Diamonds in order to protect its financial interests as a creditor.
“This procedure will not affect the current operational and financial activities of AGD Diamonds. The bankruptcy process will not affect the work of the company with counterparties, clients, and end customers in any way. AGD Diamonds is working closely with VTB Bank, and the company maintains all continuous production and operational processes aimed at meeting the targets for diamond production in the format of a full-cycle mining enterprise—exploration, production, processing, sales—while also maintaining the basic principles of client policy.”
In addition, Grib Diamonds’ CEO, Igor Prokhorenko, has left the company, according to a report in Russian industry site Rough and Polished. He will be replaced by Gennady Piven, who was previously AGD’s first deputy general director, the publication said.
AGD did not respond to a request for comment by the time of publication.
AGD sells production from the Grib diamond pipe in the northwestern part of Russia, which is one of the largest diamond mines developed over the last 10 years. The pipe was discovered in 1995 and was named after Russian geologist Vladimir Grib.
The mine was first developed in 2008, with its first diamonds produced in 2014. The open pit mine is believed to have possible reserves of 52 million carats.
Top: A piece of rough from Grib Diamonds (photo courtesy of Grib Diamonds)
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