Alrosa failed to choose a first-place winner in its competition to establish a working plan for resuming operations at its Mir mine.
The Russian miner, which suspended activity at the underground asset in August of last year following a flood that claimed eight lives, announced the contest this past January. Of the 33 entrants, 10 made it to the final stage and presented their solutions to a committee headed by Igor Sobolev, Alrosa’s first deputy CEO and executive director, the miner said last week.
“In the opinion of the committee, the proposed solutions are the most acceptable from the viewpoint of safety [in resuming mining operations] on the Mir pipe, and are the least expensive,” Alrosa’s chief engineer Andrey Cherepnov said. “At the same time, none of the proposed solutions can be considered exhaustive — that is, solving [the] problem as a whole. As such, we did not award [a] first place.”
In second place, Alrosa employees A.A. Korovenkov and R.A. Zakharov tied with the Yakutniproalmaz Institute’s A.N. Akishev and V.V. Lobanov. Each of those teams will receive an award of $17,489 (RUB 1 million). Third place went to a group of representatives from several organizations, earning them a payout of $8,744 (RUB 500,000).
The miner evaluated the entries based on several factors, including their scientific and technical validity, their compliance with industrial safety requirements for mining operations, and their feasibility, economic efficiency and completeness.
Alrosa plans to bring together all three winning proposals in order to formulate a single workable concept for reopening the mine, Cherepnov said.