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De Beers to acquire stake in major Russian diamond deposit

Diamond multinational De Beers will acquire a large stake from Russian oil giant LUKoil in one of Europe’s biggest diamond deposits located in northwest Russia, LUKoil’s press office said.

LUKoil and De Beers signed on Tuesday in Moscow an agreement on the ownership and development of the Verkhotina diamond project located in the Arkhangelsk Region. Under the agreement, Archangel Diamond Corporation (ADC), a Canadian-based subsidiary of De Beers, will acquire up to 49.99% shares held by LUKoil in the Arkhangelskoye Geologodobychnoye Predpriyatiye (AGD), a company currently wholly owned by the Russian oil company and licensed to develop the Verkhotina diamond field. LUKoil will retain the remaining controlling stake in the project. Once the deal is completed, litigation and arbitration proceedings related to the ownership of the license to develop the Verkhotina diamond field, which was discovered in 1996 by an exploration venture set up by ADC and AGD, will be terminated, LUKoil said in a statement. (