18 Jul 2023 14:45

Alrosa to begin production at Mir mine in 2032, planned capacity to total 3 mln carats/year - Yakutia chief

YAKUTSK. July 18 (Interfax) - Alrosa will begin production at the Mir mine in 2032, with planned capacity of about 3 million carats per year, the press service of the government of Yakutia said in a statement following a meeting of region head Aysen Nikolaev with the company's staff and residents of the region's Mirny district.

Earlier reports, citing Nikolaev, has indicated that the first commercial production was planned for 2030-2031.

"The annual capacity of the mine will be 2 million tonnes of ore and approximately about 3 million carats of diamonds," the statement said.

In 2016, the Mir mine, which reached its design capacity at the end of that year, reportedly produced 3.19 million carats of diamonds. In 2017, the mine was flooded in an accident when water from an upstream waste pit burst into the mine. A total of 151 people were trapped in the flooded area, eight of whom died. The mine's workings and mining equipment were completely destroyed and two horizons were flooded.

It was also reported that Alrosa would begin the mine rehabilitation project in 2023. Investments in the project (Mir-Gluboky mine), which involves the construction of a new mine to replace the lost one, are estimated at 126 billion rubles. These numbers were cited by Nikolayev in November last year. Yakutia proposed concluding a capital investment protection and promotion agreement (IPPA) for the mine to reduce the risk of a long investment period for the duration of the project's 20-year implementation, Nikolaev said.

Ore from the Mir deposit is characterized by a high content of high-quality diamonds. Before the accident, the Mir mine accounted for more than 10% of Alrosa Group production.