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ALROSA Shifts to Underground Mining at Udachnaya

Jul 27, 2015 3:48 AM   By Avi Krawitz
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RAPAPORT... ALROSA has shifted operations at the iconic Udachnaya mine from open-pit to underground mining that will eventually yield 5 million carats a year. 

The company said it completed open-pit mining at the Udachnaya pipe earlier this month, having recovered 2.67 million carats of rough diamonds in the first half of 2015. The underground operation, which was first commissioned in June 2014, is expected to produce approximately 780,000 carats in 2015 and that will increase to 5 million carats by 2019.

The Udachny division consists of the Udachnaya mine, the Zarnitsa pipe and various alluvial deposits located in western Yakutia region. The division, which is one of five mining units at ALROSA, saw production increase 30 percent year on year to 2.8 million carats during the first half of 2015, with the bulk coming from the Udachnaya open pit. 

“The Udachny open pit made a great contribution to ALROSA’s development and its conservation represents a milestone in the history of the company,” Andrey Zharkov, ALROSA's president said. “The Udachny mining and processing division will remain one of the key production divisions of ALROSA and play a significant part in the implementation of the company’s long-term development program.” He added that the division has an indicated resource spanning about 50 years. 

Zharkov added that the mine is central to ALROSA’s goal of reaching annual production of 41 million carats, along with a gradual increase in production at the Zarnitsa open-pit mine and new kimberlite pipes, located in the Verkhne-Munskoye field, expected to come on stream as part of the Udachny division in 2018.
Tags: Alrosa, Avi Krawitz, diamonds, Rapaport, Udachny
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