ALROSA has decided to take its Aikhal underground diamond mine deeper, approving stripping and mining operations to continue further from the current 100 metre level all the way down to 400 metres. ALROSA said the deepening of the mine would involve an outlay of RUB 10 billion ($157 million).
The project will extend the mine’s life to 2044 and add an estimated 20 million carats to ALROSA’s projected output. It will also enable the miner to maintain an annual production level of 500 thousand tons of ore up to 2044. Originally, commercial resources amounted to 6.2 million tons of ore with the mine’s productive life projected at being up to 2035.
Aikhal Mining and Processing Division Director Evgeny Denisov commented, “The project is also attractive due to the fact that it needs no major re-equipping and requires no new infrastructure. Development of deep levels and conseqluently, extension of the mine’s life will allow us to keep more than 500 jobs, which is crucial for our company.”
ALROSA said that the the main haulage level at 100 metres will be built and put into operation and the construction of mine openings for underlying beds will start in 2020. The start of the extraction at deeper levels is planned no later than 2027.
Last week, ALROSA had announced that it had commenced mining operations at the Zarya pipe, located just 3 kilometres from the Aikhal mine.