ALROSA announced that a procedure to estimate the diamond resources in the northwestern area of its Zapolyarnaya pipe, which is a part of the Verkhne-Munskoye deposit, has indicated that it might hold the highest number of large diamonds from among all of the company’s deposits.
The procedure, which took place from March 11 to 15 last, was aimed at determining the colour characteristics of the deposit’s diamonds, the ore grades and the cost of extraction and involved the processing of 100,000 tons of ore from the deposit.
ALROSA Chief Engineer Andrey Cherepnov commented, “The experiment showed once again that the Verkhne-Munskoye deposit is rich in large crystals. In five days, we extracted 239 large (over 8 carats) diamonds from the Zapolyarnaya pipe, or more than 3.5 percent of the number of diamonds extracted during the experiment. This is a very significant indicator.”
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 centre in the town of Mirny, where the main quality characteristics of these stones will be determined and an assessment made.
Two large high-quality diamonds, weighing 51.49 and 98.8 carats had already been mined earlier from the deposit before the estimation procedure.
The 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 — the Zapolyarnaya, Deimos, Novinka, and Komsomolskaya-Magnitnaya.