Operations have resumed at Alrosa's Zarnitsa open-pit mine, which the Russian miner had suspended since May 2020 amid the challenging market environment caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. In March 2021, when the demand for rough diamonds had stabilized, ALROSA decided to recommence mining at the deposit from 1 July.
“The resumption of mining operations at Zarnitsa will not affect the ALROSA’s 2021 production outlook, given that ore processing is to start in 2022. Expected production volume in 2022 will be ca. 0.6 m carats. Starting from 2022 the annual ore production will reach 2.5 m tonnes,” said Sergey Pavlenko, head of the Udachny Division.
In 2016, Zarnitsa brought a unique 207.29-carat rough, which was then cut into the largest polished diamond in Russian history. The final yield was a 100.94-carat emerald-cut, Type IIa, D-Color, internally flawless diamond named "The Alrosa Spectacle Diamond". Earlier this year, in May, the Spectacle went under the hammer at Christie’s Magnificent Jewels auction in Geneva for US$14,2 million.