Putin launches giant gem mine in Russia’s Far North (VIDEO)
“Russia is a country of enormous natural wealth, and diamonds of Yakutia are another national treasure of which we are proud. The launch of the new field is another step towards improving the quality of life of the population in the Far North and strengthening Russia's leadership in the global diamond market,” said Russian President Vladimir Putin, who launched the project on Wednesday.
The Verkhne-Munskoye diamond field is the largest investment project for Alrosa. The company will invest 60 billion rubles (shy of $1 billion at the current exchange rate) by 2042. The field will produce about 1.8 million carats of diamonds a year, and its reserves are enough to continue mining operations for more than 20 years (till 2042).
The deposit aims at ensuring reliable diamond production and providing workplaces for local residents. The project’s implementation was complicated by its remoteness from the existing infrastructure. The Verkhne-Munskoye field is located 170 kilometers from the mining plant, and building a new plant was unprofitable for Alrosa. The company solved the problem by constructing a service lane.
“The start of mining operations at Verkhne-Munskoye Diamond Field is a great event for our company and our Northern industry-based towns. Verkhne-Munskoye field will compensate the decrease in production at other facilities, in particular, it will replace the retired capacities of Mir,” Alrosa CEO Sergey Ivanov said.
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