August 16, 1999
Russia Opens Underground Diamond Mine
Alrosa, Russia's state-run diamond miner and exporter, opened the country's first underground diamond mine this weekend in northern Siberia.
Alrosa expects the mine and an accompanying factory will process some 200,000 tons of diamond-bearing ore per year. All other Russian mines so far have been open-pit strip mines. The underground mine will be able to reach ore deep beneath the land's permafrost, reports Reuters. The mine uses technology developed by De Beers.
Alrosa currently supplies about 20% of the world's uncut diamonds.
- by Stacey King