Russian state-controlled diamond mining major ALROSA has revised its output plan for its International mine, located 16 kilometres southwest of the town of Mirny. The revision is the outcome of stricter health and safety norms for the mine’s underground construction in the wake of the Mir mine accident in 2017.
ALROSA said it is suspending construction below the 800 metre depth level in order to address gas dynamic issues. The company projects a resumption of limited mining at these levels by the end of this year after studies are carried out. Full resumption of mining operations below the level 800 meter level is estimated to take place in 2023, after which the underground mine will return to its designed capacity of 500,000 tonnes.
ALROSA’s overall production plan for 2018 remains unchanged at 36.6 million carats. According to the company's estimates, from 2019 to 2022, the decline in production at the International mine will be between 0.5 and 0.8 million carats per year.
The International mine has a reserve estimate of 51.3 million carats with a high diamond content of between seven and eight carats per tonne of ore. In 2017, the mine produced 3.7 million carats of rough diamonds.