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Alrosa Resumes Operations at Zarnitsa Mine

Jul 15, 2021 3:07 AM   By Rapaport News
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Alrosa has recommenced production at its Zarnitsa open-pit mine in Yakutia following a 14-month shutdown.

The mine reopened on July 1, with ore extraction due to take place this year, Alrosa said Wednesday. However, the move will not affect the company’s 2021 production outlook, as processing of diamonds will only begin in 2022, noted Sergey Pavlenko, head of the Udachny division, which includes Zarnitsa.

Management suspended activities at Zarnitsa in May 2020 in response to a decline in rough demand resulting from the Covid-19 pandemic. The market has since stabilized, the miner explained.

Zarnitsa was a good candidate for closure, as it was one of the miner’s lowest-producing deposits. In 2019, it yielded 800,000 carats, while in the first five months of 2020, diamond output came to 300,000 carats. Alrosa expects to recover 600,000 carats from the mine in 2022.

The deposit was discovered in 1954 and was Russia’s first primary diamond deposit. It famously delivered a 207.29-carat rough that was cut into the 100.94-carat Spectacle, the largest polished diamond in Russian history. Christie’s sold that stone for more than $14 million at its Geneva Magnificent Jewels sale in May.

Last month, Alrosa reopened the Zarya mine, also in Yakutia, which it paused at the same time as Zarnitsa.

Image: The Zarnitsa mine. (Alrosa) 
Tags: Alrosa, Christie’s, COVID-19, Geneva Magnificent Jewels, Rapaport News, Sergey Pavlenko, Spectacle, Udachny division, Yakutia, Zarnitsa, Zarnitsa Mine, Zarya mine
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