May 5, 2020 / 9:22 AM / a month ago

Russia's Alrosa warns 2020 output plan may change as it halts two projects

MOSCOW (Reuters) - Diamond producer Alrosa warned on Tuesday that its production plans for this year may change as it prepares to suspend two mining projects due to falling demand and sales caused by the coronavirus outbreak.

From May 15 it will halt the Aikhal underground mine and Zarya open pit, which account for roughly 7% of the company’s diamond output in carat terms. They produced 2.6 million carats of rough diamonds last year.

The Russian state-controlled company said its supervisory board will meet this month and consider changing the production plan for 2020 adding that the company hopes to resume production at suspended projects as the market improves.

Alrosa currently plans to produce 34.2 million carats this year, down from 38.5 million carats in 2019.

Reporting by Andrey Kuzmin; editing by Jason Neely

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