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DIAMONDS: Alrosa kicks off mining at new diamond field in Siberia



RUSSIA – World’s top diamond producer by output Alrosa said Wednesday it had begun production at its new Verkhne-Munskoye diamond field in eastern Siberia, which Russian President Vladimir Putin said would reinforce the state controlled firm’s position as a world leader.

“The launch of this field will certainly reinforce the positions of Alrosa … as an international leader. It currently accounts for 27% of global diamond production,” Putin, who took part in the start-up ceremony via video link, said in an official statement.

The new deposit, which has a 20-year production life, will partly substitute suspended output at Alrosa’s underground Mir mine. That operation was flooded when water seeped in from an open-pit mine above it in 2017.

With reserves enough to continue mining operations until 2042, the new field will be mining about 1.8 million carats of diamonds a year for one of Alrosa’s existing processing plants located 170 km away from the field.

Earlier this week, the Russian diamond miner joined rival De Beers’ end-to-end diamond blockchain program, aimed at clearing the supply chain of imposters and conflict precious rocks.

This story first appeared on www.Mining.com.