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Mines and Future Production
By: Diamond World News Service
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Oct 24 2015 12:45PM
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Reference: 12129  

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Recently released De Beers’ Diamond Insight Report 2015 states in value terms, rough diamond production in 2014 was more than US$19 billion, representing an increase of almost six per cent over 2013. The largest producing countries by volume were Russia with 27 per cent (2013: 25 per cent); the Democratic Republic of Congo with 19 per cent (2013: 19 per cent); Botswana with 17 per cent (2013: 16 per cent); Canada with nine per cent (2013: seven per cent); and Australia with seven per cent (2013: eight per cent). In this month’s Cover Story, Kunjal Karaniya pins down the diamond mines located throughout the globe along with their present and future production details.

Rio Tinto
Argyle Diamond Mine
• 100 per cent owned by Rio Tinto
• Located in remote east Kimberley region of Western Australia
• Argyle has been operating since 1983, for over 30 years as an open pit mine and since 2014 as a fully operational underground mine
• Argyle is the world’s largest supplier of coloured diamonds
• Mine life through to at least 2020, averaging 20 million carats per annum over the life of the block cave underground mine

Diavik Diamond Mine
• Diavik is an unincorporated joint venture between Diavik Diamond Mines (2012) Inc. and Dominion Diamond Diavik Limited Partnership – with 60 per cent and 40 per cent ownership respectively
• Diavik Diamond Mines (2012) Inc. is a wholly owned subsidiary of Rio Tinto, and manages the operation of the mine.
• Diavik Diamond Mine is 300km northeast of Yellowknife, capital of Canada’s Northwest Territories, and 220 km south of the Arctic Circle.
• It is located on a 20 km2 island in Lac de Gras, a 60km-long lake.
• Open pit operations began in 2003. In 2012, open pit mining ended, and the mine became a fully underground operation.
• Diavik is currently producing diamonds from three kimberlite orebodies (“pipes”) on the bed of Lac de Gras: A154 South, A154 North and A418.
• In 2014, development of a fourth pipe, A21, was approved, with production expected to start in late 2018.
• Diavik’s diamonds are sold in rough, or uncut, form, and are predominantly large, white and gem quality, ideal for the bridal markets in all established and emerging markets
• In 2014, the Diavikmine produced 7.2 million carats.

Bunder Project
• The Bunder project is located in the Chhatarpur district in the Bundelkhand region of Madhya Pradesh, 500 Km south-east of Delhi
• Rio Tinto discovered the Bunder deposit in 2004 and applied for a mining lease in 2008
• In 2009 a US$7 million state-of-the-art bulk sample processing plant was installed with testing revealing that the deposit is suitable for conventional open pit mining
• In 2010 a State Support Agreement with the government of Madhya Pradesh was signed
• Rio Tinto received mine plan approval from the Indian Bureau of Mines in 2013 and is currently progressing a pre-feasibility study
• The project is a $US550m investment with the first commercial production likely to occur in 2020, subject to all the necessary approvals
• Bunder has an Inferred Resource (the first quantifiable estimate of an ore-body) of47.3 million tonnes, containing 33.8million carats.
• Initial sampling of the ore body has shown the presence of white gem diamonds as well as the presence of champagne and cognac diamonds

ALROSA
UDACHNY
Udachnaya pipe
• Udachnaya pipe was discovered in 1955. Open-pit mining was started in 1971 and is still underway.
• The pipe is located in Udachny town, 550 km north of Mirny town and consists of Western and Eastern ore bodies adjoining in the near-surface part.
• The underground mine Udachny was commissioned in 2014. Reaching its design capacity of 4 million tons of ore per year, Udachny will become and one of the largest worldwide.
• Diamond output in 2014 – 3.504 million carats
• Ore resources inclusive of reserves – 165.422 million tons
• The average diamond grade – 1.38 carats per ton

Zarnitsa pipe
• Zarnitsa kimberlite pipe was discovered in 1954 and is the first primary diamond deposit discovered in Russia. It is located 14 km east of Udachny town.
• In 1988-98, the deposit was on a trial run, commercial development started in 1999.
• Diamond output in 2014 – 176 thousand carats
• Ore resources inclusive of reserves – 58.554 million tons
• The average diamond grade – 0.21 carats per ton

AIKHAL
Aikhal pipe
• Aikhal kimberlite pipe was discovered in 1960.
• It is located 395 km north of Mirny town, in close proximity to Aikhal settlement.
• It has been developed by underground mining method since 2005; the open-pit mining completed in 1997.
• Diamond output in 2014 – 3.292 million carats
• Ore resources inclusive of reserves – 15.998 million tons
• The average diamond grade – 4.26 carats per ton

Komsomolskaya pipe
• Komsomolskaya kimberlite pipe was discovered in 1974.
• It is located 490 km from Mirny town and 17 km from Aikhal settlement.
• Open-pit mining was started in 2000.
• Low diamond grade at sufficiently high quality of rough diamonds is characteristic for the deposit.
• Diamond output in 2014 – 152 thousand carats
• Ore resources inclusive of reserves – 4.812 million tons
• The average diamond grade – 0.38 carats per ton

Yubileynaya pipe
• Yubileynaya kimberlite pipe was discovered in 1975; it is rated among the largest primary diamond deposits both in Yakutia and abroad.
• The pipe is located 485 km north of Mirny town and in close proximity to Aikhal settlement.
• Open-pit mining was started in 1989.
• Diamond output in 2014 – 9.122 million carats
• Ore resources inclusive of reserves – 194.994 million tons
• The average diamond grade – 0.76 carats per ton

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