According to the results of exploration work carried out in 2021 by Arctic Mining Company LLC (100% subsidiary – subsoil user Almar JSC), the volume of forecast resources in the P1 + P2 category of the Beenchime deposit amounted to 1.14 million carats, which is 290 thousand more carats (+34%) compared to the 2017 estimate. The total amount of forecast resources of the field in categories P1 + P2 + P3 increased to 2 million carats.
ALMAR owns exploration licenses for two diamond deposits: the classic Beenchime alluvial deposit in the bed of the Beenchime River, located 150 km from the Molodo deposit, mined by Almazy Anabara JSC (a subsidiary of ALROSA), and the Khatystakh deposit, located in the mouth of the Lena River, in the basins of the Bulkur and Khatystakh rivers. This deposit is confined to a highly diamond-bearing layer of tuffaceous-sedimentary rocks of the Triassic age. Both deposits are dominated by “northern” type diamonds, which are typical for all placer deposits in the north of Yakutia. Samples at the Beenchime placer are characterized by an average content, but high quality of raw materials, at Khatystakh the quality of raw materials is lower, but the level of diamond content is high. Forecast resources of Khatastakh in P2+P3 categories are 7.5 million carats. A more accurate assessment of the forecast resources of the field will be given based on the results of exploration work in 2022.
Starting from 2021, mining, drilling, testing and enrichment works have been carried out at both fields. At the Beencime site, 640 m3 of pits were tested, 625 tons of sand were removed, the volume of enrichment work amounted to 83 geological samples with a total volume of 312.4 m3. A significant increase in the thickness of the productive formation was recorded along the passed mountain lines, which, of course, will be reflected in a significant increase in diamond reserves.
Drilling is underway on the western slope of the Bulkur anticline of the Khatystakh site, where 22 lines of wells with a depth of 10–40 meters with a total volume of 2,285 linear meters were drilled in 2021, which made it possible to identify promising areas for open pit mining. The average thickness of the productive formation of tuffaceous-sedimentary rocks, planned for open-pit mining, varies from 0.1 to 2.0 m, averaging 0.5 m, the average thickness of the overlying rocks is 4.5 m, the width of the industrial deposit is 90 m.
This year, it is planned to complete exploration, environmental studies, topographic survey and evaluation of diamonds in the Gokhran of the Russian Federation. In 2023 – preparation of a feasibility study of temporary conditions and approbation of the report with the calculation of reserves in the State Reserves Committee of the Russian Federation, obtaining a license for exploration and development of the deposit. In 2024, a technical project will be drawn up, pilot development of the deposit and diamond mining will begin.
“The Republic of Sakha (Yakutia) hosts the main reserves of alluvial diamonds in the country. Half of them are located in the Ebelyakh river basin. In the basin of the Ebelyakh River often has unique fantasy diamond, it was there that a unique stone was mined in 2017, which, after cutting, received the name “Ghost of the Rose” and was sold in 2020 for $26.6 million.
However, the reserve of deposits that were discovered and explored in Soviet times at the expense of the state budget is practically exhausted. If the current volume of root and alluvial diamond mining is maintained, the next decade may turn out to be the last, after which there will be a sharp decline in production and, as a result, in tax revenues to the budget of the Russian Federation. In this regard, there is an acute issue of developing new areas where there are prospects for discovering root and alluvial diamond deposits. Updated data on the increase in the volume of predicted diamond resources at the Beencime deposit allow us to talk about an increase in the mineral resource base and the renewal of reserves” — Sergey Grakhanov, Chief Geologist, Deputy General Director of JSC ALMAR.
“The company is moving in accordance with the work plans and the exploration results are encouraging. At this stage, exploration and confirmation of reserves of new deposits is the main priority of our activity. All funds raised from investors are directed to the realizations of this task.” — Andrei Karkhu, General Director of JSC ALMAR.
The report can be viewed at the link.