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Alrosa seeks funds to unfreeze god’s treasury

Alrosa is by far the biggest gem diamond producer in Russia and supplies about 20% of world production. Now it is seeking new funding to develop its existing mines, open up new prospects in Russia and Africa, and expand the production of cut diamonds.

Alrosa diamonds after sorting for size

An old Russian legend has it that just after god created the world he was flying across it with all the treasures of the earth in the back of his sledge. He hadn't tied them down securely and gold, diamonds and other precious metals and stones were scattered across northern Russia as he passed over it. Once he realized what had happened, he went back to what is now the tundra of Russia's Siberian far east and froze the ground solid to protect these natural riches from money-grubbing hands.

The Sakha Autonomous Republic (better known to the players of the board game Risk as Yakutiya) is the one of the coldest places in the world, with temperatures in the winter - about 10 months of the year - plunging to around minus 70°C. The ground is frozen solid to a depth of 1,400 metres in places and in the short summer only the top two metres thaw, enough for stunted trees and moss to grow a few feet until the permafrost rises to the surface again.

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