Alrosa’s resources estimated in over 1 billion carats

Udachny open-pit mine. City of Udachny, Yakutia. Photo by Alrosa.

The world’s top diamond producer by output, Alrosa (MCX:ALRS), published this week an updated estimate of its Joint Ore Reserves Committee or JORC reserves and resources.

“The JORC Code-compliant report from Micon’s independent experts estimated Alrosa’s diamond resources and reserves as of 1 July 2018 at 1,064 million carats and 628 million carats, respectively,” the miner said in a press release.

With offices both in the United Kingdom and in Canada, Micon is an independent firm of geologists, mining engineers, metallurgists, and environmental consultants.

To run its estimate, Micon considered Alrosa’s assets located within the Russian Federation. Such properties include both operating mines and processing plants, and projects at various stages of development.

Mirny, Sakha Republic, Russia, November 14, 2013. Photo by Alrosa.

In detail, the report includes an evaluation of the deposits developed by the company’s four principal divisions, the Udachny, Aikhal, Mirny and Nyurba mining and processing divisions, and also by the subsidiary mining companies, PAO Severalmaz, and AO Almazy Anabara. Alrosa asked the consultants to exclude the operations of Catoca Ltd. Mining Co. in Angola, in which it has a 32.8% share.

The reserves estimate also excludes the Mir underground mine, located in eastern Siberia, where operations were suspended in August 2017, after water flooded into the mine shaft from the open-cast above trapping 151 people. The mine’s resources only were declared.

On the positive side, Micon reported an increase in reserves and resources indicated for Aikhal and International underground mines is due to extending the estimate’s perimeter to cover the deeper levels of these mines.

The international mine, which reached full production rate of 500 kt/a in 2002, is located 16 kilometres south-west of the town of Mirny, in east-central Russia. Mineral resources in the measured category are 20,157 kct, while in the indicated category are 29,608 kct. Approved reserves of International pipe are characterized by a high diamond content in ore, about 7-8 carats per tonne on average.

The Aikhal mine is located in the country’s northeast. In this case, measured resources were estimated in 57,227 kct, while indicated resources were 10,480 kct. Here, reserves contain between 6-7 carats per tonne on average.

Micon also reported a rise in reserves and resources for the prolific Jubilee and Karpinskogo-1 pipes, Almazy Anabara and a number of other deposits.

Earlier in the week, Alrosa issued a different report related to its sales volumes. The state-controlled miner informed an 8% fall year-on-year. However, the Russian giant noted that stronger pricing, particularly in the first half of 2018, meant sales by value increased by 6% to $4.4 billion.

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