May 5, 2020 - ALROSA will temporarily suspend mining works at Aikhal underground mine and Zarya open pit from May 15. The decision were taken due to the decrease in demand and sales for diamonds, as the major consuming economies are struggling with economic headwinds caused by the global spread of COVID-2019 virus.
Mining at Aikhal will be put on care and maintenance from May 15 to September 30, 2020, at Zarya – from May 15 to December 31, 2020. Zarya employs 180 miners, Aikhal has 502 staff members. Part of the mine’s personnel will be involved in maintenance and other required continuous works.
These two pipes operate with lowest margins in the Group portfolio due to quality characteristics of stones mined there. The decision to put them offline aimed to reduce accumulation of less liquid, given the current market conditions, stocks of diamonds.
Personnel of suspended operations and auxiliary services will be partially laid-off, the remaining employees will be transferred to other assets or stay in the idle regime. The Company’s HR develops a necessary set of social support.
2020 production plan change will be considered at the Board meeting in May. The Company intends to recommence production at suspended assets as the market situation improves.
In 2019, ALROSA produced 2.6 million carats from the Aikhal and Zarya pipes together.