28 May 2019 13:08

Unique 1.6-kg emerald found at Mariinsky Mine in Urals

YEKATERINBURG. May 28 (Interfax) - Miners at JSC Mariinsky Mine (Sverdlovsk region, a Rostec company) have found a 1.6-kilogram emerald at the Malyshevskoye deposit, the regional governor's communications department said.

"This is the biggest find in almost 30 years; an emerald weighing more than two kilograms was found in 1990. The biggest (1.54 kilograms) since then was a stone found in 2018," the department said.

The value of the gem together with that of alluvium mined earlier is 32 million rubles. The company is expected to use revenue from the sale of emeralds to develop production.

The mine's press service told Interfax that potential buyers are already expressing interest.

"The emerald was found in May. We can't say anything about the value of the emerald itself. It will be bought together with the alluvium," the press service said.

It did not say who could buy the emerald but specified that the purchaser is not Gokhran, which has the right of first refusal with regard to precious stones found by mining companies.

The governor's communications department said that the emerald was found at a depth of 260 meters. Specialists classified the mineral as green and as third-grade due to the presence of natural cracks.

"This rare emerald was brought up to the surface by workers at the face, omitting the technological process, and came to us practically in its original form: even facets, surrounding by a micaceous coat. This speaks to the significant rarity and uniqueness of the emerald," Mariinsky Mine head Evgeny Vasilevsky was quoted as saying.

The quality of the gems found at the deposit can largely be explained by the technique used to mine them, which allows the stones to be extracted without suffering damage. This method has been used for four years. To process ore that may contain precious stones, tunnelers use what is called "reduced-impact mining": the ore is chipped away by hand or with the use of special, non-destructive mixtures. Mining using explosives is prohibited.