Aikhal, April 22, 2019. – The study of Aikhal underground mine allowed ALROSA to decide on further development of the mine 300 meters in depth, making it possible to replenish the raw material base and extend the mine life up to 2044.
ALROSA’s top management approved the project Stripping and mining of Aikhal pipe reserves at the levels of -100 meters/-400 meters. Total investment will be about RUB 10 billion (as previously planned according to the program announced on 18 March 2019). Implementation of the project will allow replenishing the raw material base of the mining and processing division and ALROSA by almost 20 million carats, and maintain the 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 date of completion of the mine operation in 2034-2035.
“The project is also attractive due to no need for major re-equipment and no need to build new infrastructure, and so on. Development of deep levels and, accordingly, extension of the mine life will allow keeping more than 500 jobs, which is crucial for our company”, noted Director of Aikhal Mining and Processing Division Evgeny Denisov.
The main haulage level -100 meters 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 new horizons (-100 meters / -400 meters) is planned no later than 2027.
Aikhal Mining and Processing Division, established in 1986, mines rough diamonds at open-pit mines Yubileyny, Komsomolsky, and underground mine Aikhal. Its share in ALROSA Group’s total diamond output is 30%. Following the results of 2018, Aikhal Mining and Processing Division mined almost 12 million carats worth of more than USD 1.2 billion. The division employs more than 4,500 people.
Since 1999, underground development of Aikhal pipe has been carried out under the project of stripping of the ore body to the level of -100 meters. In 2017, deep horizons were explored at the levels -100 / - 400 meters from the pit wall and 0 meter horizon. The obtained results allowed to start considering options for opening the ore body below -100 meters.