February 21, 2020 – ALROSA unearthed first colored rough diamond at its new Verkhne-Munskoye deposit in Yakutia, which started operations in 2018.
A bright yellow gem-quality diamond weighing 17.44 carats was recovered in mid-February from the Zapolyarnaya kimberlite pipe, a part of the Verkhne-Munskoye deposit. The transparent crystal with a habit transitional between octahedron and dodecahedron has dimensions of 18x20x9 mm.
“This is the first rough diamond with bright color found at the Verkhne-Munskoye since it was launched in 2018,” said Evgeny Agureev, Deputy CEO of ALROSA. “The United Selling Organization of ALROSA will assess and evaluate this stone in detail. We hope this deposit will give us more large and interesting discoveries in future.”
ALROSA mines natural color rough diamonds mostly in the Arkhangelsk region and in the north of Yakutia. There are less than 0.1% of colored gem-quality stones in the overall output of ALROSA. They are sent to Diamonds of ALROSA, the company’s cutting and polishing division. This is where such unique pieces as the Fancy Vivid Yellow Firebird diamond (20.69 ct) and the Spirit of the Rose 14.8 ct Fancy Vivid Purple-Pink diamond were produced.
Global resources of colored rough that could be cut and polished into fancy color diamonds are scarce. As known deposits mature and deplete, such specimen become more and more rare. That is why vivid fancy diamonds of important tones may be valued ten times higher than colorless ones. According to GIA, only one in 10,000 diamonds has a fancy color.
Verkhne-Munskoye diamond deposit is located in the west of Yakutia, 170 km from the town of Udachny. At present, four kimberlite pipes have been explored: Zapolyarnaya, Deimos, Novinka, and Komsomolskaya-Magnitnaya. Today it is the largest investment project of ALROSA. Investments amounted to about 16 billion rubles at the stage of preparation for the mining, and the total investment over the entire period of development is estimated at about 60 billion rubles (including maintenance investments until 2042). The Verkhne-Munskoye deposit will bring about 1.8 million carats of rough diamonds per year, and its reserves are sufficient to continue mining for more than 20 years – until 2042.
The official launch of the Verkhne-Munskoye diamond deposit was held on October 31, 2018 in the format of a call-in show with the participation of President of the Russian Federation Vladimir Putin and First Deputy Prime Minister – Minister of Finance of the Russian Federation Anton Siluanov.