JOHANNESBURG (miningweekly.com) – Russian mining giant Alrosa boosted its diamond production by 14% year-on-year in the first six months of 2017, as higher diamond grades were achieved from several pipes.
The company produced 19.3-million carats of rough diamonds from the processing of 16.9-million tons of ore and sand.
Alrosa first VP Igor Sobolev said in a statement on Monday that most of the company’s major mining and processing divisions had demonstrated an upward trend in production results – both in terms of production output and in terms of diamond grade.
For the first six months of this year, Aikhal division, accounted for more than a third of the group’s total output, having extracted 6.9-million carats of rough diamonds – a 26% year-on-year increase.
The Mirny division increased production by 13% year-on-year to 4.4-million carats, the Udachny operation by 29% to 2.1-million carats, the Nyurba operation by 2% to 3.4-million carats and the Lomonosov operation by 28% up to 1.2-million carats.
Alrosa’s preliminary figures indicate rough diamond sales in the second quarter amounted to 10.2-million carats. The company sold 8.05-million carats of gem-quality rough diamonds at an average price of $138.4/ct, and 2.15-million carats of industrial-grade rough diamonds at the average price of $8.5/ct.
Rough diamond sales for the second quarter amounted to as much as $1.13-billion. Polished diamond sales for the period amounted to $22.7-million.
Alrosa is the world’s largest diamond producer by volume. The second biggest is Anglo American’s De Beers, which produced 16.14-million carats in the first half of 2017. De Beers’ production is more valuable. The company, which mines in Botswana, South Africa and Canada, achieved an average price of $156/ct in the January to June period.