By Ashley Davis
Alrosa began mining the Verkhne-Munskoye deposit in late 2018. This 17.44-carat is the largest gem-quality colored diamond the mine has produced so far.
Moscow—Alrosa has announced the recovery of the first large colored diamond from its newest deposit.

The miner said it recovered a 17.44-carat gem-quality yellow diamond this month from the Verkhne-Munskoye deposit.

The stone’s structure transitions between octahedron and dodecahedron, and it measures 18mm x  20mm x 9mm.

Alrosa Deputy CEO Evgeny Agureev said: “This is the first rough diamond with bright color found at the Verkhne-Munskoye since it was launched in 2018. The United Selling Organization of Alrosa will assess and evaluate this stone in detail. We hope this deposit will give us more large and interesting discoveries in future.”

The Verkhne-Munskoye mine is Alrosa’s largest investment project, with about $245 million sunk into the mine in preparation for its opening.

Located about 100 miles from Udachny, Russia in the Yakutia region, the mine is forecast to produce 1.8 million diamond carats annually and is expected to operate through 2042.

20200226 YellowDiamond insertOf Alrosa’s total diamond production, less than 0.1 percent are gem-quality colored stones.

Alrosa estimates its total investment for the life of the mine will be about $919 million.

So far, Alrosa has explored four kimberlite pipes at the Verkhne-Munskoye deposit. The 17-carat yellow was discovered at the Zapolyarnaya pipe.

The miner said of its overall diamond production, less than 0.1 percent are gem-quality colored stones, with most coming from the Arkhangelsk region and the north of Yakutia.

Like other fancy colored diamonds Alrosa has dug up in the past, the new discovery will be sent to its cutting and polishing division, Diamonds of Alrosa, which also cut the 20.69-carat fancy vivid yellow “Firebird” diamond and the 14.83-carat fancy vivid purple-pink “Spirit of the Rose” diamond.”

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