ALROSA has started ore mining at Botuobinskaya kimberlite pipe of its Nyurba Mining and Processing Division in the Republic of Sahka (Yakutia).
In 2015, Botuobinskaya pipe is expected to produce 230,000 tonnes of ore and about 1 mln carats of rough diamonds. In the long term, diamond production at Botuobinskaya will exceed 2 mln carats when the deposit reaches its design capacity of 400,000 tonnes of ore per year. The pipe will be developed as an open pit mine; ore processing will take place at the Nyurba MPD.
Stripping operations to prepare the ore body for mining were held from 2013. Capital expenditures on pre-production mine development amounted to approximately 3 bln rubles over the 2013-2014 period.
Botuobinskaya is located within the Nakyn ore field, 3 km from Nyurbinskaya pipe, the main deposit of Nyurba MPD. In line with ALROSA’s development plan the launch of Botuobinskaya will compensate for production decrease on Nyurbinskaya pipe; this will also allow Nyurba MPD to maintain stable production volumes at 7.5 mln carats of rough diamonds per year.
According to the Russian ore reserves classification system, the reserves of Botuobinskaya amount to 93.021 mln carats of rough diamonds, with an average diamond grade of 5.65 carats per ton, as of 1 January 2015. The indicated resources of Botuobinskaya amount to 13.679 mln tonnes of ore, with an average diamond grade of 5.19 carats per ton and reserves of 71.044 mln carats under the JORC standards. A relatively large proportion of gem-quality and near-gem-quality crystals with a high degree of transparency characterizes the diamonds of Botuobinskaya.
At the official ceremony devoted to launching of Botuobinskaya, Ilya Ryashchin, the acting president of ALROSA, said, “Over the past few years ALROSA invested significant funds in building new production capacities. The newly commissioned Botuobinskaya pipe is the first new pipe in Yakutia over the last 10 years. The development of this deposit is included in ALROSA’s long term development strategy which envisages an increase of diamond production to 41 mln carats through putting into operation of new pipes”.