In the scope of the Verkhne-Munskoe deposit development project, ALROSA will participate in the measures for the preservation of traditional way of life of indigenous minorities of the North and maintenance of biological diversity of local ecosystems. The reindeer protection program will be implemented as a part of these measures.
The area of the supposed construction of an approach road to Verkhne-Munskoe diamond deposit refers to the territory of vital activity of Leno-olenekskaya tundra population of wild reindeer. To ensure the best possible conditions for the animals’ passage from one pasture to another, and to maintain continuous development of the deposit, ALROSA will make outstanding arrangements for the introduction of special radio-collars for reindeers.
For the first time the most important research into the reindeer population and migration have been carried out for the implementation of this ecological program. Ecologists have obtained more accurate information about the periods of spring and autumn migration of wild reindeer in the area of the road to Munskoe deposit. The exact number of reindeers migrating in the area was established. The main points where most reindeers cross the road were fixed and adjusted to their GPS-coordinates. It was necessary for the creation of crossings with gentler slopes. The chance of collision of animals and people has been minimized.
The reindeer migration tracking system with the Russian Pulsar satellite radio-collars will be introduced for online monitoring during utility vehicles operation. Collars use GLONASS satellite system to transmit reindeers’ locational data and route every 20 minutes. The collar fastening procedure is painless for animals. When the battery life expires, the collar will automatically unfasten.
“Such an experiment is the first in Russia, and it was launched in Yakutia. Similar measures are being implemented by ALROSA’s Udachny Mining and Processing Division that finances flying around the areas of reindeers’ location coordinates and assessing their condition. According to the Mining and Processing Division’s current procedures, when scientists report that reindeers have entered the division production area or started crossing the site access road, the division is brought to a standstill so as to ensure that reindeers pass freely through the industrial territory,” says Alexander Fedorov, ALROSA’s Deputy Chief Engineer for Environmental Protection.