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ALROSA's Aikhal Underground Mine Reaches Design Capacity

Apr 8, 2013 3:55 AM   By Deena Taylor
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RAPAPORT... ALROSA’s Aikhal underground mine has reached its design capacity of 500 thousand tonnes of ore per year, the company reported. Aikhal is expected to produce 2.5 million carats of rough diamonds per year at full capacity.

The Aikhal pipe is one of ALROSA's oldest deposits and contains more than 14 million carats of rough diamonds, with inferred and indicated resources of more than  54 million carats, according to a 2012 JORC-compliant  audit.

Open-pit mining at Aikhal began in 1961 and ended in 1997 when the pit reached a depth of over 320 meters. The company commenced the first phase of underground mining in 2005 and completed the second phase in 2009 when the mine processed 250 thousand tonnes of ore. The third stage of underground mining has now been achieved and will see the deposit process 500 thousand tonnes of ore to ensure Aikhal's projected annual production of 2.5 million carats.

ALROSA noted that it is implementing an extensive construction program  for underground mines at its deposits, with the full-scale start-up of the Aikhal underground mine being its major accomplishment.

ALROSA also operates the International underground mine, which has a design capacity of 500 thousand tonnes of ore as does the company's Mir underground mine but it is expected to reach 1 million tonnes in 2014.  ALROSA plans to commence the first stage of underground mining at the Udachny mine  in 2014.
Tags: Aikhal, Alrosa, Deena Taylor, International underground mine, Mir, Udachny, underground mining
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