Russia’s Alrosa, the world’s top diamond producer by output, is extending the life of its Aikhal mine to 2044 by digging deeper into the ground, in a project estimated to cost about RUB 10 billion ($16m).
The 300 metres underground extension, the company said, will add almost 20 million carats to the raw material base of the Aikhal mining and processing division, allowing it to keep annual output at 500,000 tonnes of ore.
Underground extension of Aikhal is estimated to cost about $16 million.
“The project is also attractive because there’s no need for major re-equipment or new infrastructure,” Evgeny Denisov, Director of Aikhal Mining and Processing Division said in a statement.
The Aikhal mine, located in the north-eastern part of Russia in the Sakha Republic, is one of the country’s and the world’s largest diamond mines.
The operation is part of the namesake division, which also includes two open-pit mines — Yubileyny and Komsomolsky. Last year, the unit mined almost 12 million carats worth more $1.2 billion.