Dec 29, 2017

ALROSA’s Verkhne-Munskoe Deposit Gives Up its First Lot of Diamonds

ALROSA announced yesterday that it had recovered the first lot of diamonds from its  Verkhne -Munskoe deposit in December this year.

About 75 tons of diamondiferous ore from Verkhnyaya Muna were removed by the Udachny Mining and Processing Division for trial processing; from which the diamonds were recovered. The commercial launch of the deposit is scheduled for 2018.

“The removal of trial batches of ore from Verkhnyaya Muna began in October and ended on Saturday, December 23,” ALROSA said. “Ore entered the processing plant to test the processing technology and confirm the content of diamonds. The trial processing was in regular mode. The final recovery shop received the first diamonds on December 25.”

During the trial processing, specialists from ALROSA as well as from design institutes performed ore sampling, and “determined the degree of load on various processing chain sections and performance modes of the equipment”. The specialists also analysed the damage rate while processing this type of ore. “For this purpose, a technology experiment was conducted using rough diamonds with special colour coating in the operation of mills, and recovering these diamonds at the final recovery shop,” ALROSA elaborated.  The marked crystals will be sent later to Irgiredmet Institute where minerologists will determine their integrity, damage types, and based on this background will draft a report with recommendations for increasing rough diamonds integrity.

“Even now we can say that no additional reagents or water will be required for the processing of new ore,” said Alexander Makhrachev, Director of Udachny Mining and Processing Division. “In general, crystals from Muna differ from rough diamonds from Zarnitsa or Udachnaya in form and colour. Rough diamonds from Udachnaya are sharp-edged, and those from Muna are more rounded with lemon and brown ones among them. When rough diamonds arrive at the Diamond Sorting Center, we will get a more detailed report. In March, we will also receive a report and recommendations for work with the ore from Verkhne-Munskoe field prepared for us by Yakutniproalmaz Institute. The next batch of ore from Verkhne-Munskoe deposit, 250 tons of ore and 50 tons of diamond-bearing sands, will arrive at the Processing Plant No. 12 in the fourth quarter of 2018 as part of commercial development of the deposit.”

Located about 170 kilometers from Udachny Mining and Processing Division, the Verkhne-Munskoe deposit represents ALROSA’s largest investment project. So far, four kimberlite pipes have been explored: Zapolyarnaya, Deimos, Novinka, Komsomolskaya-Magnitnaya. “Their aggregate inventory is 64.8 million tons of ore with the average grade of 0.6 carat per ton, totalling 38.4 million carats,” ALROSA said.

The mine is expected to have a development period until 2041. “Once the design capacity is reached in 2019, the enterprise will produce 3 million tons of ore per year,” ALROSA noted. “The project will create more than 700 new jobs in the Republic of Sakha (Yakutia).”