Alrosa resumed mining operations at Zarnitsa open-pit mine which were suspended in 2020 amid the challenging market environment caused by Covid-19. The ore mined this year will be processed by plant No. 12 of Udachny Division in 2022.
Zarnitsa operations were suspended in May 2020 following the management decision to counter effects caused by the pandemic. In March 2021, when the demand for rough diamonds had stabilised, Alrosa decided to recommence mining at the deposit from 1st July.
“The resumption of mining operations at Zarnitsa will not affect Alrosa’s 2021 production outlook, given that ore processing is to start in 2022. Expected production volume in 2022 will be ca. 0.6 m carats. Starting from 2022, the annual ore production will reach 2.5 m tonnes,” said Sergey Pavlenko, Head of Udachny Division.
Discovered in 1954 as the Soviet Union’s first primary diamond deposit, the Zarnitsa kimberlite pipe has been developed intermittently since 1999, with ore processed at Plant No. 12 of the Udachny Division. In 2019 and 2020, the deposit diamond output totalled 0.8 and 0.3 m carats respectively.
In 2016, Zarnitsa produced a unique 207.29-carat rough. This find was cut into the largest in Russian history 100.94-carat polished diamond, named the Spectacle.