Alrosa has announced that it has started test drilling at the Mir kimberlite pipe. The move is part of its strategic investment plan. Mining at the Mir underground mine was suspended in 2017.
Under the current feasibility study, the miner will start searching the kimberlite pipe at a depth of 1,200-1,600 meters below the surface. This will help to define more precisely the pipe's dimensions, its position, diamond quality and grades and the geological conditions and hydrogeology of the deposit.
The company said decisions to restart mining will depend on more than just economic considerations. The project also has to be deemed safe at both the construction and mining stages. If that happens, work to reconstruct the mine could start in 2024.
Total exploration costs are estimated at RUB2 billion ($32.5 million) with the reserve estimate report to be prepared in 2022.