Russian diamond major Alrosa has announced an investment of ten-billion ruble in a project that will extend the life of the Aikhal underground mine up to 2044, sustaining 500 jobs.
The mining company has approved the stripping and mining of Aikhal pipe reserves at the levels of between 100 m and 400 m below the ground.
This will replenish the raw material base of the mining and processing division by about 20-million carats, and maintain the production level of 500 000 t/y of ore up to 2044.
Currently, commercial resources are about 6.2-million tons of ore, which will last until 2034/35.
"The project is also attractive due to no need for major re-equipment and no need to build new infrastructure, and so on. Development of deep levels and, accordingly, extension of the mine life will allow keeping more than 500 jobs, which is crucial for our company,” Aikhal mining and processing division head Evgeny Denisov said in a statement on Monday.
The Aikhal mining and processing division comprises two openpit mines and the Aikhal underground mine. The division’s share in the group's total diamond output is 30%, with about 12-million carats, worth $1.2-billion having been mined last year.