Russian diamond miner Alrosa has marked the official start of diamond mining operations at the Verkhne-Munskoye diamond field, which will produce about 1.8-million carats a year for the next 20 years, replacing capacity from the flooded Mir mine.
Verkhne-Munskoye will be using the processing plant of the Udachny mining and processing division, which is about 170 km away. Alrosa has constructed a service lane to connect Verkhne-Munskoye to Udachny.
“The Verkhne-Munskoye field will compensate the decrease in production at other facilities, in particular, it will replace the retired capacities of Mir. Thanks in no small part to this project, Alrosa will be able to increase its production volume next year. The reserves of the field will provide additional work load for processing plant No. 12 of Udachny and ensure its continuous work and stability in life of almost 12 000 residents of Udachny,” Alrosa CEO Sergey Ivanov said in a statement on Wednesday.
The diamond field is Alrosa’s largest investment currently, with 16-billion rubles having been spent since mining preparations started three years ago. The total estimated investment for the mine is about 60-billion rubles, including maintenance capital expenditure until 2042.
The start of mining operations was officially launched at a ceremony attended by Russian President Vladimir Putin.