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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Talks Bypass Gem Deal

Talks between South African diamond giant De Beers and Russia's gem trading and producing firm Almazy Rossia-Sakha last week were regular business discussions and did not cover renewing a five-year sales deal, an official of the Russian company said.

"The talks were regular business discussions on results of work with De Beers' Central Selling Organization. We did not deal with the renewal. It is to be discussed at government level," he said in a recent interview. He did not say when the talks would take place.

De Beers officials said last week a new round of talks on renewing the sales deal was likely by the end of January. Under a five-year contract with De Beers, which is up for renewal late in 1995, Russia sells 95 percent of its rough gem diamond exports through the CSO. Russia wants revisions to this contract to allow bigger access to world markets.