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ALROSA may increase exploration depth at one of its largest diamond mines

06 august 2014

The Mirny Geological Exploration Crew of ALROSA has announced a tender to increase the depth of exploration in the ore body of the Internatsionalnaya Diamond Pipe, one of the largest diamond deposits held by the company, as it follows from the documents submitted by ALROSA and posted on the government procurement website, cited by Finmarket.
The tender is for purchasing services associated with drilling, geophysical and hydrogeological works aimed at exploration and estimation of diamond reserves at Internatsionalnaya to a depth of 1,700 meters.
As it was explained by the press service of ALROSA, so far the intention is only to increase the depth of exploration in the ore body. “The possibility of expanding the mine and mining at this depth (1,700 m) will be considered only if there are clear results of this probe,” the company’s spokesperson said.
Exploration at Internatsionalnaya is scheduled to be wrapped up by 2016.
Internatsionalnaya produced 2.154 million carats of diamonds in January-June of 2014 (14% of the Group’s total output during this period). In the 2nd quarter, Internatsionalnaya decreased its production as compared with one year ago in annual and quarterly terms due to a drop in ore processing and diamond grade. However, Internatsionalnaya’s ore remains the richest among all the diamond fields held by ALROSA – its diamond grade reached 8.68 carats per tonne in the 2nd quarter. For comparison, Yubileynaya’s ore contains 1.07 carats of diamonds per tonne, while Mir yields 3.53 carats per tonne and Udachny 0.96 carats per tonne.
Internatsionalnaya switched over to underground mining in 1999. The mine’s depth is 1,085 meters and its resources are explored to a depth of 1,475 meters. Internatsionalnaya’s identified reserves under JORC are 4.208 million tonnes of ore at a diamond grade of 8.73 carats per tonne; inferred reserves are estimated at 1.542 million tonnes of ore at a diamond grade of 7.98 carats per tonne.
This year, ALROSA is expected to produce 36 million carats of diamonds. From 2019 on, the company plans to increase its output to 41 million carats per year. Production growth is expected to occur due to launching the underground mines of ALROSA in Yakutia to their full output (the latest of them, at Udachny, was commissioned by ALROSA in June) and bringing the Severalmaz Company to its nameplate capacity.