Alrosa will deepen its Akhail underground deposit, extending the mine’s life by 10 years and adding 20 million carats to the resource.
The project will cost the Russia-based miner RUB 10 billion ($156.9 million), and will be carried out in phases starting from 2020, the company said Monday. Ore extraction from the lower depths is expected to begin in 2027 and continue until 2044.
“The project is…attractive due to [the lack] of need for major re-equipment and [for building] new infrastructure,” said Evgeny Denisov, director of the Aikhal mining and processing division. “Development [to] deep levels, and, accordingly, extension of the mine life, will allow [us to keep] more than 500 jobs, which is crucial for our company.”
The Akhail mine comprises 30% of Alrosa’s total diamond output. In 2018 it produced nearly 12 million carats valued at $1.2 billion, Alrosa said.