President Vladimir Putin and First Deputy Prime Minister and the Minister of Finance Anton Siluanov officially opened mining operations at ALROSA’s Verkhne-Munskoye diamond field in Yakutia. ALROSA said in a press release that the new diamond field will operate till 2042, with an initial output of about 1.8 million carats a year.
The first extractive industrial explosion at the facility was set off by Aysen Nikolaev, the Head of the Sakha Republic (Yakutia) along with ALROSA CEO Sergey Ivanov. ALROSA had begun preparatory work for the mine in 2015.
The project was made feasible by the fact that the Verkhne-Munskoye diamond field is only about 170 kilometres from the existing processing plant of ALROSA’s Udachny Mining and Processing Division (MPD). Construction of a new processing plant on site would have made the project unprofitable. Thus one of the key projects in the development of the mine was the construction of a service road that connects the Verkhne-Munskoye field with the Udachny MPD facilities.
ALROSA said the Verkhne-Munskoye is its largest investment project, with about RUB 16 billion having been spent to date, with total investment over the mine’s life to 2042 being estimated at about RUB 60 billion.
CEO Sergey Ivanov commented, "The start of mining operations at the Verkhne-Munskoye diamond field will compensate for the decrease in production at other facilities. In particular, it will replace the retired capacities of Mir. Thanks in no small part to this project, ALROSA Group will be able to increase its production volume next year.”
He added, “The reserves of the field will provide an additional workload for Processing plant No. 12 of Udachny MPD and ensure its continuous work and economic stability for almost 12 thousand residents of Udachny. I would like to say thank you to all employees of our company, who took part in preparations for this start. You contribute in constant development of our company.”