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REFILE-Alrosa eyes 49 pct stake sale to Rio Tinto in Severalmaz - report

(Refiles to correct day of report in lead paragraph to Wednesday)

MOSCOW, Dec 22 (Reuters) - Russia’s state-owned diamond miner Alrosa is looking to sell a 49 percent stake in its northern Severalmaz project to miner Rio Tinto for almost $400 million, Vedomosti newspaper reported on Wednesday.

Citing a copy of a memo for Alrosa’s supervisory board meeting on Dec. 28, the paper reports that the Russian miner plans to sell Rio Tinto 50 percent minus one share of Severalmaz, for $250 million to Rio Tinto .

The purchase will then require Rio Tinto to invest $135 million to bring the company up to full mining capacity -- 2 million carats in 2015 -- at its Lomonosov diamond deposit in Russia’s Arkhangelsk region, the memo states.

Alrosa, currently the world’s No. 1 diamond miner, estimates total 2011 output at 34.44 million carats. (Writing by Jessica Bachman; editing by Muralikumar Anantharaman)

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