Subsidiary of oil company LUKOIL OJSC Arkhangelskgeoldobycha (AGD) plans to recover 58 million carats of diamonds during the first 16 years of development of Grib pipe diamond deposit, Finmarket agency reported citing a statement released by press office of the Government of the Arkhangelsk Region. Within the above period Arkhangelskgeoldobycha will conduct open-pit mining activities which are expected to start at the end of 2013. Total diamond reserves of Grib diamond pipe are estimated at 98.5 million carats.
Grib diamond pipe is located at the south edge of Verkhotina field, which saw geologic exploration works conducted till the end of 2009, in compliance with the license. Exploration was effected in partnership with French Foraco which signed a contract for drilling of large-size wells for adjustment of quality and quantity of diamond reserves.
It was previously expected that AGD will recover first commercial gems at Grib pipe in 2015.
Mining and processing complex to be constructed at diamond pipe will have capacity to process 4.5 million tonnes of ore per year. The life span of the pipe amounts to 25 – 35 years and depends on the method of development.
Vice President of LUKOIL Leonid Fedun announced that previously mineable diamond reserves of the deposit were estimated at $6.5 billion while later the valuation was adjusted to $11 billion.