Jun 21, 2018

ALROSA Implements Stricter Health and Safety Policy; Revises Plan for International Mine

With an emphasis on health and safety, and a toughening of its policy in those areas, ALROSA has announced the revision of its production plan for the International underground mine in the coming years. However, the plan for the recovery of 36.6 million carats in 2018 remains unchanged, the Company clarified. 

“Results of the audit conducted following the Mir mine accident back in 2017 led to revision of the construction project for the International mine,” ALROSA explained. “The Company decided to suspend the construction of deep mine levels below the level -800 meters whereas it is necessary to carry out works to prevent gas-dynamic phenomena recorded here.”

The Company has indicated that mining at lower levels will re-commence at  the end of 2018. At this time it plans to carry out studies onsite and seek expert advice.

“At the same time, the intensity of mine footage is expected to be reduced for safety reasons,” ALROSA stated. “According to preliminary estimates, mining operations below the level -800 meters will be fully restored in 2023, after which the underground mine will return to its designed capacity of 500,000 tonnes.”

The Company estimates that  from 2019 to 2022, the decline in production at International will be between 0.5 and 0.8 million carats per year.

"This decision means changes in sequence of mining and preparing the ore body,” said ALROSA First Deputy CEO - Executive Director Igor Sobolev. “Now we are starting planning for the next years, during which we will consider the existing options to intensify production at other fields and balance the production plan. We will also work to reduce the time required for the implementation of the necessary activities at the International mine.”

CEO Sergey Ivanov commented: “In our decision to reduce pace and output we were guided by new stricter rules governing health and safety system. Our employees' health and safety are an absolute priority for us.”

The International underground mine, located close to Mirnyi was commissioned in 1999. In 2017, the underground mine produced 3.7 million carats of rough diamonds; and at the beginning of the current year, the International pipe’s diamond reserves stood at 51.3 million carats. 

Meanwhile, on another note, ALROSA also announced yesterday that it had generated a sales revenue of US$ 1 0.5 million from the sale of special diamonds (+10.8 carats) at its  auction in Dubai held from May 27 to June 14, 2018.

At the auction, which saw the participation of 32 companies from leading centres around the world, the Company sold a total of 111 gem-quality lots with the total weight of 1,725 carats. 

EvgenyAgureev, the Member of the Executive committee, Director of the USO ALROSA, commented: "The auction has concluded with excellent results for us, the starting price was almost doubled. This once again confirms that diamond market participants are still interested in our products. We plan to hold the next auction in Dubai in October-November this year.”