As mined diamonds (photo of ALROSA)

  • As mined diamonds
  • As mined diamonds

Kimberlite pipes, of which mined diamonds — the result of underground volcanic eruptions that occurred millions of years ago. When exposed to high temperatures and great pressure was solid carbon lattice and turned into a gem. Subsequently, the discovery of this property is allowed to produce synthetic diamonds. But the natural stone, of course, much more valuable.

In the photo — view of the main quarry Udachninsky ore processing plant — "Lucky." Mining operations on the same field were started in 1971 and over the past 25 years, Plant is the leading enterprise of the diamond industry in Russia and one of the largest open pit mines in the world. In 2010, the share of Udachninsky GOK had 33.8% of diamond production in terms of value and 12.5% of mining of the total in the group "Alrosa".

  • As mined diamonds
  • As mined diamonds

The first large-scale commercial production of diamonds in southern Africa began about a hundred years ago. In Russia kimberlite pipes were discovered only in the middle of the last century — in Yakutia. This discovery marked the beginning of "Alrosa" — today the world leader in diamond mining. Thus, the probable reserves are about one-third of the world's total, and proven enough to maintain current levels of production for 25 years, without reducing the quality of raw materials. If the figures, the reserves of diamonds belonging to "Alrosa" fields are (according to data released in May 2011) 1.23 billion carats Russian classification (1014000000 — 0211000000 proven and — probable).

The last five years, the company has sent annually on exploration from 2.5 to 3.5 billion rubles. In 2011, exploration costs amounted to about 4 billion rubles., And in 2012 for these purposes will be allocated over 5.36 billion rubles.

  • As mined diamonds
  • As mined diamonds

In their fields, "Alrosa" produces about 35 million carats of diamonds a year, as the world's largest producer of raw materials in physical terms: it accounts for about 97% of Russia's oil production and 25% of the world. The content of diamonds in kimberlite ore is traditionally low — usually a few carats per tonne. Yakut field in this respect is winning, and considered one of the richest in content.

In 2010, sales of diamonds and diamond materials "Alrosa" amounted to $ 3.48 billion, and in 2011, according to preliminary data, the company sold products worth $ 5 billion — a record figure in its history. The company's revenue in the first half of 2011 under IFRS amounted to 66.15 billion rubles. (+3% YoY) and net profit increased five-fold to 26.27 billion

  • As mined diamonds
  • As mined diamonds

Kimberlite pipes are cone-shaped, extending up, so they usually start practicing with quarrying. The design depth career "Lucky" depicted in these photographs — 600 meters to climb from the bottom to the surface of the quarry, dump on the "serpentine" overcomes the path length of about 10 km.

  • As mined diamonds
  • As mined diamonds

But so are mined in open pits. Drilling rig does well, which is laid explosive (in the photo — the process of laying). By the way, while diamond is the hardest mineral, it is rather fragile. Therefore, when blasting is used sparing technologies, allowing to preserve the integrity of the crystals. After the explosion of rock fragments are loaded into trucks and transported to the processing plant.

  • As mined diamonds
  • As mined diamonds

Major enterprises are located in Western Yakutia, in four districts of the Republic of Sakha (Yakutia) — Mirny, Lena, Anabarsky, Nyurbinsky — in one of the harshest regions on the planet, with a sharply continental climate, large temperature difference in the permafrost zone. In a good winter lasts up to 8 months, winter temperatures sometimes drop to -60 ° C. Therefore, most of the equipment is made to order — these are the machines that are adapted to work in low temperature conditions. As a result of work carried out in the fields all year round in all weather conditions. In quarrying at the same time involves a large amount of equipment — wheel loaders, dump trucks, excavators. Heavy trucks in the park "Alrosa" only about 300, with capacity from 40 to 136 tons — basically, "BelAZ", there is also Cat and Komatsu.

  • As mined diamonds
  • As mined diamonds

After reaching a certain depth within the open pit reserves are exhausted, the development of open pit becomes unprofitable. The average career developed to a depth of about 600 m, however, kimberlite pipes lie beneath the ground to a depth of 1.5 km. For further mining constructed mine. Underground mining is more expensive compared to the quarry, but it is the only cost-effective way to reach deep-lying reserves. In the future, "Alrosa" is going to significantly increase the share of underground mining of diamonds. Now the company is completing the development of an open pit, "Lucky" and the parallel is building an underground mine. He is expected to be launched in 2014

The cost of the transition to underground mining of diamonds valued at $ 4.3 billion, but in the future this should lead to a reduction in costs. Largely due to the construction of underground mines duty "Alrosa" to the acute phase of the crisis in 2008 increased by 64% to 134.4 billion rubles. But the state is a company in trouble will not leave: she was in the list of strategic enterprises, non-core natural gas assets of VTB bought for $ 620 million, and when the demand for diamonds fell, production of "Alrosa" started buying Gohran.

  • As mined diamonds
  • As mined diamonds

At the word "diamond mines" involuntarily imagine a beautiful picture: the cave, the walls of which precious stones are iridescent. In fact, a diamond mine — not the most romantic place on earth. The walls are not sparkling diamond shine, and looking for ore, generally hard to imagine that there are hidden future "best friend." In the photo — working in one of the horizontal vent future underground mine workings, depth — 380 meters.

Mine development takes place i
n the unique geological conditions. In addition to the permafrost, it is complicated by aggressive groundwater, which, due to high salinity can not only erode the walls of mine workings, but also eat away (!) Wheel truck tires. In addition, in the fields of "Alrosa" present bitumen and oil shows, which also complicate the extraction of diamonds.

  • As mined diamonds
  • As mined diamonds

Parallel is building the future of the mine surface facilities — such as ventilation and kalorifernyh installations. Underground mine "Lucky" will become one of the largest in the world — its performance is expected to reach 4,000,000 tons of ore per year. This is not the company's first underground mine: a 1999 "Alrosa" is working in the mine "International". In addition, in August 2009, the company has commissioned an underground mine "Peace." It is expected that when all the mines are at full capacity, the proportion of underground mining operations in total, "Alrosa" will rise to 40%. Just a Russian diamond mining company is the root of 9 and 10 placer deposits in Yakutia and Archangelsk region. In addition, the company owns a diamond mining company "Katoka" in Angola — along with a local state-owned company "ENDIAMA."

  • As mined diamonds
  • As mined diamonds

How will the underground production to "Lucky" in 2-3 years? For example — the picture is already working mine "Peace." Production of diamond ore under the ground is mostly shearer sinking (see photo). Also, experts and companies are studying the possibility of using the traditional mining shpurovyh of breaking — when a breed destroy explosives planted in the drill holes. The circuit is the same: take the ore loaders and transported to the surface, where it reaches the processing plant. Now it will go we.

  • As mined diamonds
  • As mined diamonds

The initial stage of enrichment with diamond ore looks just like any other mineral. Initially, the factory get big chunks of rock the size of a few meters. After crushing in a jaw crusher or cone ore fed to the mill wet autogenous grinding (pictured), where using water rock fragments up to 1.5 m are crushed to a size of 0.5 m or less.

Controlling stake, "Alrosa" (51%) are in federal ownership (from 2006 to 2008, 10% of the package belonged VTB), 32% owned by the government of Yakutia, 8% ulus control of the subject of the federation. In April 2011, the company was transformed from a closed to public companies, to be able to raise funds on the market. Since the middle of last year, the campaign "Alrosa" are traded on the Russian stock exchanges, but the volume of transactions on them is low because of the low liquidity (the stock exchange were only minority shares). In autumn 2011 the shareholders of "Alrosa" entered "Nafta-Moscow" Suleiman Kerimov, skimping on the market for about 1% of the company.

  • As mined diamonds
  • As mined diamonds

At the next stage spiral classifiers separate raw materials depending on its density and resolution. The principle of operation is very simple. The water picks up fine particles and carries the drain. The large particles (up to a few centimeters) did not carry the water to be — they settle in the bottom of the tank, whereupon a spiral raises them up.

  • As mined diamonds
  • As mined diamonds

The next stage of enrichment — crashing, so named for the sound that accompanies the job. "Rumble" — a huge vibrating sieve with holes of different sizes in order to segregate materials by different factions. Separation material according to size groups, since each of them further be enriched differently.

  • As mined diamonds
  • As mined diamonds

Now we have to somehow isolate diamonds from small pieces of ore obtained after crushing. Medium-sized pieces of ore sent to the jigs and Heavy-enrichment: Water ripple under the influence of diamond crystals are singled out and settle the heavy fraction. Fine "powder" pnevmoflotatsiyu passes through, during which, interacting with the reactants, small diamond crystals adhere to the foam bubbles.

At the next stage, all the raw materials will be the basic procedure — separation of X-ray (RLS).

  • As mined diamonds
  • As mined diamonds

That's just to show what happens inside the cage in the process of his work, will not work: the principle of radar is based on continuous x-ray radiation. Peek inside at the time of the separator, to put it mildly, is not safe. To describe in words, then the method is based on the unique properties of diamond — it is the only mineral that fluoresces in X-rays. On a conveyor belt inside the separator is constantly moving ground ore, the irradiated X-ray. Once in the radiation zone enters a diamond, solar cells capture the fluorescent flash and the air flow "knocks out" flashes and fragment into a separate container.

  • As mined diamonds
  • As mined diamonds

Of course, the flow of air inside the separator can separate only one small crystal — with it are removed and a certain amount of waste rock. In fact, the whole process ore is directed only to minimize the number of "empty" and then the material to facilitate manual handling. And the "manual" in the literal sense of the word: professionals choose crystals, clean them and carry out the so-called "final fine-tuning." No matter how popular now was to automate all business processes in general, but in diamond mining do without the human factor is quite impossible. The number of employees (as of December 2010) — more than 31 000 people.

  • As mined diamonds
  • As mined diamonds

But whose hand it was.

One way or another, but it is under Fedor Andreev "Alrosa" began to prepare for IPO, and the company has been included in the privatization program for 2012-2013. Currently, she is waiting for the government's decision on the parameters and timing of privatization. Representatives of Yakutia stated that the country sees no obstacles t
o the privatization of the pack, but insists that the control should remain with the state. Recently, the shareholders agreed that the market will be sold only 14% of the shares (7% of the Federal Property Management Agency of Property and Yakutia), for which the plan to gain about $ 1 billion Presumably the placement will be in autumn 2012 or spring 2013 at MICEX-RTS.

  • As mined diamonds
  • As mined diamonds

The ultimate refinement of the shop all rough diamonds to the Centre in a peaceful sort. Here the raw materials for the main groups divide and give it an initial evaluation, after which it can be sent for sale by United Selling Organization "Alrosa".

By the way, about half of the production of "Alrosa" is sold outside Russia. Until recently, the company has been selling its diamonds on the world market, using the services of a monopolist De Beers. However, in early 2009 they stopped cooperating and "Alrosa" the beginning of the reorganization of its distribution system, providing direct sales contracts and equal treatment of foreign and domestic customers, worked as a customer base and introduced the practice of "long" contracts.

  • As mined diamonds
  • As mined diamonds

In general, raw materials from each of the fields has its own distinctive features. Experienced experts when looking at a diamond can determine from which it was mine it came from. But this is only true of common features. Two identical diamond does not exist. Because there is no organized exchange trading and diamonds, such as gold or copper — this is not a standardized product, each stone has unique characteristics.

This significantly complicates the uniqueness and sorting, and evaluation. In assessing the experts taking as a basis the three characteristics: size, color and clarity (no inclusions inside, transparency). The most expensive stones — "pure water", is transparent and not having pronounced color. Each has a different gradation characteristics. As a result, depending on the size, color and other parameters would be about 8000 possible positions rough.

  • As mined diamonds
  • As mined diamonds

 

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