ALROSA starts work on new mine


ALROSA, the world leader in diamond mining, has announced that it will begin the development of a new deposit—the Zarya pipe at its Aikhal Mining and Processing Division.

Last week, the first stage of the deposit development was triggered with an inaugural commercial blasting. The mine is expected to reach its design capacity of 1 million tons of ore per year by 2021, and is expected to have a life of 13 years.

The development of the Zarya primary diamond deposit is one of the company’s largest investment projects to date, with the initial investment is expected to be valued at around $190 million CAD.

“The construction of an open-pit mine on the deposit is a very important investment project,” says Igor Sobolev, ALROSA’s first vice-president and executive director. “The start of mining operations at Zarya pipe will allow us to replace dwindling reserves at Komsomolsky open-pit mine.”

The Aikhal Mining and Processing Division, established in 1986, mines rough diamonds at open-pit mines Yubileyny and Komsomolsky, as well as Aikhal, an underground mine. In the first quarter of 2016, it produced 2.68 million carats. Currently, the division employs more than 4,300 people.

“The development of Zarya will guarantee stable use of existing capacities and ensure total rough diamond recovery of 3.6 million carats throughout the mine development,” says Andrey Zharkov, president of ALROSA.

The company has also signed an agreement with JSC Alfa-Bank to extend the maturity date of a $720 million loan from April 2017 to July 2019.