Improved Diamond Grades Send ALROSA's Production Up 14% in H1 2017

Mining and Exploration
24/07/2017 14:27

In the first six months of this year, ALROSA Group processed 16.2 million tons of ore and sand, which yielded 19.3 million carats of extracted rough diamonds, a 14% increase compared to the same period in 2016, the company writes in a press release. The major driver of the jump in rough diamond production was their increased processing of ore with higher diamond grade from the pipes Yubileynaya, Zarnitsa, Karpinskogo-1, Mir underground mine, and sand from alluvial deposits. The Aikhal and Udachny underground mines also demonstrated a growth in diamond mining. By way of comparison, first half grade in 2017 of 1.2 carats per ton is 19% higher than in the same period last year, when ALROSA processed 16.9 million tons of ore and sand yielding an average of 1 carat per ton.

Igor Sobolev, ALROSA First Vice President, commented: "Most of the Company’s major mining and processing divisions demonstrated an upward trend in the production results–both in terms of production output and in terms of diamond grade. For the first six months of this year, Aikhal Mining and Processing Division, accounting for more than a third of the whole diamond output by ALROSA Group, extracted 6.9 million carats of rough diamonds, 26% higher year-on-year. Mirny Mining and Processing Division increased production by 13% up to 4.4 million carats, Udachny – by 29% up to 2.1 million carats, Nyurba – by 2% up to 3.4 million carats, Lomonosov – by 28% up to 1.2 million carats. It helps provide consistent supply of rough diamonds to the sales divisions and meet the demand for the Company’s products."

ALROSA already announced its first half provisional sales two weeks ago - their rough diamond sales amounted to $2.44 billion, an estimated 2.4% value decline from the first half of 2016, while polished diamond sales achieved $54.9 million. Now they have provided sales figures for the second quarter, as preliminary figures indicate their rough diamond sales in Q2 2017 at 10.201 million carats, including 8.048 million carats of gem-quality rough diamonds at the average price of USD 138.4 per carat, and 2,153 million carats of industrial-grade rough diamonds at the average price of USD 8.5 per carat. Rough diamond sales for Q2 2017 amounted to as much as $1.13 billion. Polished diamond sales for this period amounted to $22.7 million.