ALROSA’s board has called for an independent auditor to assess the causes of the water ingress into its Mir underground mine on August 4 this year, that took the lives of eight of its miners.
SRK Consulting and DMT group have been shortlisted among possible candidates for the audit, which will look at the design and construction of the Mir mine, its operational stages, as well as all the decisions and actions that were taken.
The idea behind the audit is to pinpoint the causes of the accident and put in place measures to ensure that something like it never occurs again.
Giving details, ALROSA said that the audit will assess the pre-project option of the underground mining technology for the Mir pipe, the correctness of the underground mine construction and operation project, and the existing procedures for technical decision-making in terms of industrial safety.
Among other things, there will be a comprehensive assessment of the correctness of the initial data used to calculate and model the reliability of the safety pillar, as well as technological parameters for drainage and dewatering systems, systems for integrated monitoring of safe operation and cut-and-fill system for diamond mining at Mir underground mine.
Independent experts will also assess how the design decisions were implemented during the construction and operation of the underground mine and whether it was possible to prevent the emergency taking into account the existing design decisions.
ALROSA President Sergey Ivanov observed, “We are interested in the most objective and highly professional independent assessment of what happened. At the same time, we know that there are no analogous mines with similar hydrogeological conditions in our country. We are counting on assessment by independent international experts who have experience in mine planning and production for deposits with similar adverse hydrological conditions.”
Ivanov had earlier signed an order to carry out an overall safety assessment of mining operations at all the Company’s underground mines by September 1. A special-purpose expert group is to assess the potential impact of water bodies on mine workings and measures taken to prevent water breakthrough from depleted open pit mines.