|Russian diamond miner Alrosa has announced that, in preparation for planned commercial production scheduled for 2018, the first ore from its Zapolyarny open-pit mine of Verkhne-Munskoe kimberlite field in the Republic of Sakha (Yakutia) has been delivered to the stockpile of the processing plant No. 12 at Udachny Mining and Processing Division.
All the transported ore will be processed at the plant, and experts will confirm the diamond content in the ore and develop the processing technology.
There are plans to remove a total of 75,000 tons of ore from the new deposit before the end of the year.
The company notes that the development of Verkhne-Munskoe deposit is Alrosa's largest investment project. The deposit is located 170 kilometers from Alrosa's Udachny Mining and Processing Division. Four kimberlite pipes have been explored so far: Zapolyarnaya, Deimos, Novinka, Komsomolskaya-Magnitnaya. Their aggregate inventory is 64.8 million tons of ore with the average grade of 0.6 carat per ton, totaling 38.4 million carats. The commissioning of the enterprise is scheduled for 2018, with the design capacity expected to be reached in 2019, producing 3 million tons of ore per year. Estimated revenue for the entire period of mining, until 2041, is expected to reach RUB 187.5 billion (US$3.2 billion approximately). The company expects the project will create more than 700 new jobs in the Republic of Sakha (Yakutia).