By Michelle Graff
An aerial shot of Alrosa’s Udachny mine. The Moscow-based diamond miner said this week that growth in processing of ore from the Udachny underground mine contributed to the increase in diamond production so far this year.
Moscow--Russian diamond mining company Alrosa reported this week that production is up 6 percent so far in 2017.

In the first nine months of 2017, the company mined 29.5 million carats of rough diamonds, compared with 27.9 million in the same period last year.

First quarter production totaled 8.9 million carats (compared to 8.2 million in the first quarter 2016); second quarter production was 10.4 million (compared to 8.7 million in the second quarter 2016); and 10.2 million carats were mined in the third (compared to 11 million in the third quarter 2016).

Alrosa First Vice President Igor Sobolev attributed the increase to more active operations at the company’s alluvial deposits and growth in processing of ore from the Udachny underground mine and the Karpinskogo-1 pipe operated by Severalmaz.

Production also has increased slightly for the Mirny division, despite the August flooding accident at the Mir underground mine that killed eight workers and halted production.

Diamond production for the Mirny division totaled 5.8 million carats in the first nine months of the year, compared with 5.7 million in the same period last year.

Alrosa is the world’s No. 1 diamond producer in volume terms and second in value terms to De Beers.

De Beers’s latest figures, also released this week, show that it too has increased diamond production so far this year.

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