The world's top diamond producer by output, Alrosa (MCX:ALRS), announced this week the launching of diamond production at its Zarya pipe in Yakutia, eastern Russia.
The new 300-meter deep deposit, operated by the Aikhal Mining and Processing Division and which started to be prepared for mining in 2016, is expected to have a mine life of over 10 years.
To prepare the Zarya pipe, 14 million cubic meters of overburden were removed and a roadway, hydraulic engineering structures and infrastructural facilities had to be built.
In a media statement, Alrosa said that it spent $187.8 million in the development of the Zarya primary diamond deposit, which makes it is one of the company’s major investment projects in recent years.
According to the miner, the decision to allocate funds to this project was driven by the fact that there is no need to build a new mining and processing division and a plant because Zarya is located in the operational zone of the Aikhal Mining and Processing Division.
Besides the operational advantages, Alrosa said Zarya’s production is also expected to make up for dwindling resources at other sites.
“The new deposit will allow compensating for the depleting stock of Komsomolsky open-pit mine and looking forward it will ensure stable mining for the division,” the media release reads. “In 2021, according to the development roadmap of Aikhal Mining and Processing Division, the enterprise is to reach the design capacity of 1.25 million tons of ore per year and process rough diamonds at the Plant No. 14. The plan is to mine the first 100 thousand tons of kimberlite ore in 2019."