In addition, most of the mines are in the area not controlled by the government, he added.
“There are no Russian companies here. There is a company that was created with the participation of particular Russian businessmen, it is registered under the laws of the Central African Republic, it has only one license to search and extract diamonds. As far as I know, this business operates at a loss, “said Mr.Titorenko.
According to him, the data on the reserves of diamonds and gold in the Central African Republic are largely exaggerated:
“In the past the Central African Republic was a relatively average producer of diamonds, for example at the time of Bokassa [ancien dirigeant, 1966-1979, ndlr] and before the events that started in the 1990s, the country exported from 350 to 360,000 carats of rough diamonds, this represented only 11% of the state’s budgetary revenue. It’s far from Namibia, far from our Russian region of Yakoutia. There are diamonds, but there are few. ”
According to the ambassador, 35,000 to 36,000 carats are exported per year, ten times less than before. “Naturally, there is contraband diamonds, UN experts also point out, but this is done in areas that are not controlled by the government,” said the diplomat.
As for gold, he noted, if 91 tonnes are extracted in neighboring Sudan, it is about 500-600 kilograms “and much less” in CAR, and again, under the most favorable conditions .
“And most of the mines are located in an area beyond government control. Therefore, Russia has little in this area. While China has 12 licenses for the exploration and production of diamonds, four licenses for the extraction of gold, and the Chinese are the main economic player in CAR, like everywhere in Africa, “concluded the diplomat.