ALROSA announces the preliminary results of an experiment aimed at clarifying the diamond-bearing capacity of the northwestern area of the Zapolyarnaya pipe, which is a part of the Verkhne-Munskoye deposit. According to the data obtained, Verkhne-Munskoye can become one of the richest in large diamonds among ALROSA’s deposits.
The experiment took place on March 11-15. Through that period, the processing plant N12 in the town of Udachny was supplied with ore exclusively from the northwestern part of the Zapolyarnaya pipe. The main goal was to find out the color characteristics of diamonds, the grades and the cost of one carat in this particular part of the pipe.
During the experiment, about 100 thousand tons of ore was processed. The diamond grades appeared to be higher than planned.
“The experiment showed once again that the Verkhne-Munskoye deposit is rich in large crystals. In 5 days, we extracted 239 large (over 8 carats) diamonds from the Zapolyarnaya pipe, or more than 3.5% of the number of diamonds extracted during the experiment. This is a very significant indicator,” Andrey Cherepnov, ALROSA Chief Engineer, said.
There were two gem-quality stones weighing 51.15 and 70.67 carats among the extracted large diamonds. In addition, four large diamonds of lower quality were mined; the largest one weighs 268 carats.
All the crystals were sent to the ALROSA’s Diamond Sorting Center in the town of Mirny, where the main quality characteristics of these stones will be determined and their assessment made.
Earlier, two large high-quality diamonds, weighing 51.49 and 98.8 carats, have already been mined at the Verkhne-Munskoye deposit.
Verkhne-Munskoye diamond deposit is located in the west of Yakutia, 170 km from the town of Udachny. At present, four kimberlite pipes have been explored: Zapolyarnaya, Deimos, Novinka, and Komsomolskaya-Magnitnaya. Today it is the largest investment project of ALROSA. Investments amounted to about 16 billion rubles at the stage of preparation for the mining, and the total investment over the entire period of development is estimated at about 60 billion rubles (including maintenance investments until 2042). The Verkhne-Munskoye deposit will bring about 1.8 million carats of rough diamonds per year, and its reserves are sufficient to continue mining for more than 20 years - until 2042.
The official launch of the Verkhne-Munskoye diamond deposit was held on October 31, 2018 in the format of a call-in show with the participation of President of the Russian Federation Vladimir Putin and First Deputy Prime Minister - Minister of Finance of the Russian Federation Anton Siluanov.