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20 Feb, 2019 11:27

India ready to welcome Russian gold & diamond miners – official

India ready to welcome Russian gold & diamond miners – official

India is interested in cooperation with Russian gold and diamond mining companies and is ready to allow them access to the country’s domestic market, Russian Minister of Industry and Trade Denis Manturov said.

“The Indian market is one of the largest in the world, annually valued at around $100 billion,” the minister told journalists after bilateral talks with his Indian counterpart in Bangalore.

According to Manturov, the parties have made a start for deep cooperation in various sectors with India interested in bringing Russian technological expertise to boost manufacturing and develop India’s domestic economy.

“This refers to Russian companies specializing in mining of gold and diamonds. We have agreed to carry out a seminar on the issue in the near future,” the official said.

India is the second biggest gold consumer market in the world, topped only by neighboring China. The country purchases around 850 metric tons of gold annually, according to US gold and silver dealer Provident Metals. The precious metal is mostly used in India for jewelry and in ornamental sectors.

At the same time, the country boosted its bullion reserves in 2018 after nearly a nine-year pause, slashing its share of US sovereign debt at the same time.

Indian gold imports increased by 72 percent year-on-year to 879.8 tons, while total consumption increased by 30 percent to 781.9 tons, attributed to a 35-percent surge in jewelry consumption, according Gold Survey 2018, provided by Gold Fields Mineral Services, research and consultancy owned by Reuters.

When it comes to diamonds, India is the second biggest global consumer after the US. In 2018, the country bought $21.9 billion worth of gems, accounting for nearly 19 percent of the world’s total consumption, according to World’s Top Exports. Purchases from Russia were reportedly up 242 percent and totaled $2.4 billion.

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