Russia’s Alrosa just recovered the first large gem-quality rough diamond from its Verkhne-Munskoe deposit, which recently launched operations in Western Yakutia.
In a press release, the world’s top diamond producer said the transparent round-shaped octahedron crystal with insignificant yellow hue was recovered from Zapolyarnaya pipe – one of four kimberlite pipes of the deposit. "The deposit has a 20-year production life and is calculated to yield some 1.8 million carats of rough diamonds per year".
The diamond's approximate age is estimated in 350 million years. It weighs in at 51.49 carats and measures 23 by 22 by 15 mm.
"It is the first rough diamond over 50 carats from Verkhnyaya Muna. We have just started mining here, so it is a very promising event evidencing of the good potential of the deposit,” said Alexander Makhrachev, Director of Udachny Mining and Processing Division, in the media brief. “Despite small inclusions and cracks, this stone is undoubtedly a gem-quality rough diamond that will bring to life one or several high-grade polished diamonds.”
Four kimberlite pipes have been explored so far at Verkhne-Munskoe. The deposit, which has a 20-year production life and is calculated to yield some 1.8 million carats of rough diamonds per year, will partly substitute suspended output at Alrosa's underground Mir mine.