By Michelle Graff
An aerial shot of Udachny, one of the mines operated by Alrosa in Russia. The diamond mining company reported this week that production is up 14 percent in the first half of the year.
Moscow--Alrosa Group saw production rise in the first half of 2017 due to the increased processing of ore with a higher diamond grade, the company reported this week.

The Russian diamond mining company said it processed 16.2 million tons of ore and sand in the first six month of the year, from which it extracted 19.3 million carats of rough diamonds. That is a 14 percent increase compared with the same period last year.

The major drivers in production growth were the Yubileynaya, Zarnitsa, Karpinskogo-1 pipes, the Mir underground mine and the finding of rough diamonds in sand from alluvial deposits. Production also increased at the Aikhal and Udachny underground mines.

Alrosa’s First Vice President Igor Sobolev said the Aikhal Mining and Processing Division, which accounts for more than a third of the company’s entire diamond output, saw a 26 percent year-over-year increase in production.

Production was up 13 percent at Mirny, 29 percent at Udachny, 2 percent at Nyurba and 28 percent at Lomonosov.

Aikhal is the same operation that produced the 75-carat rough diamond Alrosa reported finding earlier this month, while the nearly 110-carat diamond came out of Mirny.

Alrosa is the world’s largest diamond miner by volume and the second by value.

The world’s largest diamond miner by value, De Beers, reported its first half production results last week.

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