ALROSA, the world leader in diamond mining, carried out initial evaluation of applications submitted to the open contest of projects for the resumption of production at Mir deposit.
An expert group reviewed all applications from ALROSA’s employees, representatives of Russian and foreign companies, scientific academic and industry institutes, design organizations, and individuals. The majority of applications came from Russian cities, including Moscow, Yekaterinburg, Krasnoyarsk, Novosibirsk, Irkutsk, and Yakutsk, and one – from South Africa. Following the results of the qualifying round, 33 applications have been admitted to the next stage of the contest and their authors have been granted access to extended information for more detailed preparation of projects.
Finalists of the contest will be determined by the decision of the expert group at a meeting on March 12, 2018. The Contest Commission will determine the winner and awardees of the contest. ALROSA First Deputy CEO – Executive Director Igor Sobolev was appointed as Chairman and ALROSA Chief Engineer Andrey Cherepnov was appointed as Deputy Chairman of the Commission. The Commission includes Company Chief Geologist Konstantin Garanin, Director of Mirny Mining and Processing Division Alexey Kovalenko and Chief Engineer of the Division Nyurgun Zakharov, representatives of Yakutniproalmaz Institute: Director of the Institute Andrey Zelberg; First Deputy Director – Chief Engineer Evgeny Gerasimov; Deputy Director for Scientific Work Igor Zyryanov. The Commission also includes Head of the Mining Department Dmitry Kirillov and First Deputy Director of Capital Construction Division Oleg Tsaltsalko.
During the first stage of the contest, participants submitted a great deal of noteworthy proposals for the resumption of mining at Mir underground mine, including quite innovative solutions for the use of freezing and plugging technologies, as well as remote-controlled equipment and robotic technology.
The primary goal of the contest is to find solutions for the speedy resumption of operation at the underground mine that will meet all safety requirements for work. The proposals that have passed the qualifying round are very diverse.
Today, the basic concept of safe work resumption is based on the involvement of reserves located below the minus 500 meters level, where there are neither salt beds nor the danger of enclosing rock erosion. At the same time, mining of previously discovered reserves can be carried out at the final stage of the deposit development, after solving the problem of water removal from the deposit, eliminating the threat of breakthrough of underground brines and construction of new workings. Using mine openings in rock salt beds is not under examination as they are not suitable for .operation due to the inability to ensure safe works.
The Company will sum up the results of the contest on March 21, 2018. The authors of the best project will receive a reward of RUB 1.5 million, the total prize fund of the contest exceeds RUB 3 million.
Following the results of the contest, the best technical solution or a set of solutions will be determined to be applied in the development of the concept of resumption of mining at Mir deposit. This concept will form the basis of the technological regulations and technical design for safe and cost-effective development of the field reserves.