1 Mar 2024 13:59

Kaliningrad Amber Combine expected to reduce amber production by 5% in 2024

KALININGRAD. March 1 (Interfax) - Kaliningrad Amber Combine (KAC), which is wholly owned by Russian state corporation Rostec, began the 2024 mining season on Friday and plans to produce 600 tonnes of amber this year, Rostec reported.

KAC produced a record 630 tonnes of amber in 2023, so production this year is expected to drop 4.8%.

Production is usually suspended in winter due to weather conditions. Amber is mined only when the temperature of the air and water, which is used in the production process, is above zero.

KAC will only mine amber at the Primorskoye deposit this season. Last year it also mined at the Plyazhevoi section of the Palmnikensky mine. KAC has been developing the Primorskoye deposit since 1976, steadily increasing production from just 47 tonnes in 1977 to 273 tonnes in 2013 and a record 575 tonnes in 2021.

Primorskoye holds about 90% of the world's amber reserves. Its commercial reserves are estimated at more than 53,000 tonnes, enough to keep the mine operating for 100 years, Rostec said.

"Reaching a volume of 600 tonnes will enable us to beat our own record, more than doubling amber production at the Primorsky mine since 2013, when KAC became part of Rostec. We plan to already achieve these figures by October-November," KAC chief executive Mikhail Zatsepin was quoted as saying in the press release.

"Last year we managed to reach a similar level - 630 tonnes - while mining two deposits at once - Primorskoye and Palmnikenskoye, but now we will develop only one mine, a section with an area of 6 hectares," he added.

KAC has modernized its mining facilities, updated its equipment and installed a mobile amber recovery unit at the mine.

The Plyazhevoi section of the Palmnikensky open pit, where mining was carried out, has already been completely depleted and returned to the municipality and reclaimed, the plant's press service told Interfax.