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Vasily Kurnev: We have strict requirements for industrial safety

The issues of labor protection and industrial safety were and are considered to be a priority for the Nyurba Mining and Processing Plant; we are talking about this with the director of the plant Vasily Kurnev.

- Vasily Tarasovich, in the activities of ALROSA the Nakyn ore plays an important role. The Nyurba Ore Mining and Processing Plant is a young team. It is the center of new technologies development, innovations and sciences in the diamond industry. Here, the advanced methods of the world mining industry are being introduced. And what can you tell about observance of the requirements for occupational and industrial safety at the enterprise entrusted to you?

- Work on occupational and industrial safety at Nyurba Mining and Processing Plant is carried out in accordance with general requirements, mandatory for the whole Company.
Industrial safety is, first of all, the responsibility of each employee, specialist, his attitude to the workplace and the knowledge of absolutely all the intricacies of the equipment operation. There one mustn't have such an attitude as "that'll do as it is." At the industrial site everyone has to pay close attention to every step. After all, everything depends on the small things - from comfortable overalls to working equipment. Each part of equipment, mechanism must be thoroughly tested in terms of safety.


I want to especially note those who are closely involved in labor protection and industrial safety - Mikhail Morozov, Deputy  Chief  Engineer on Labor Protection of the Workshop for Repair of Mining and Technological Equipment; Denis Antonov, a native of Nyurba, is also Deputy Chief Engineer on Labor Protection of the Workshop for Repair of Mining and Technological Equipment. These guys have a special education in industrial safety, they are true professionals, and therefore their requirements are really strict. For example, they conduct appraisals among workers engaged in large lifting mechanisms. All traumatic facilities are under surveillance around the clock. So we are always ready for any emergency situations. Of course, in production, as elsewhere, there are difficulties.

- I noticed that in Nakyn not only in industrial facilities, but also at all workplaces, working conditions have been improved.

- Our great achievement is the completion of the Office and Amenity Building. We built a very warm, comfortable building with hot and cold water supply. With the Office and Amenity Building commissioning, the conditions in the sphere of technology, communications, and informatics have significantly improved. For instance, the Internet is now much faster than before. We are in constant communication with engineering services and responsible persons on industrial safety.

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With the improvement of communication quality, we are always in the course of events occurring at this or that facility of the Plant. There are conditions to monitor all facilities online and, if necessary, help with advice or give instructions. In addition, a new building of Workshop for Repair of Mining and Technological Equipment was commissioned.

Nakyn heat and water supply

ALROSA allocates a considerable sum for improving living conditions of shift workers. First of all, we directed these funds for the reconstruction of engineering networks and bathrooms in living quarters. If in the past several employees had to be cooped up in one room, now there are two people living in spacious rooms with a fridge, TV and furniture.

- Are there many issues on industrial safety at the Nyurba quarry, which gives the greatest amount of ore?

- Our main quarry at this time reaches 320 meters in depth. Here we are more concerned with the fact that the surface of the earth begins to crack from the influence of water, changes in tectonics. Two years ago, there was an ore caving. But we carry out measures to prevent various kinds of caving: exploratory drilling and geological work, monitoring of the territory at the bottom of the quarry...

- What is the depth of the Botuobinskaya quarry now?

- The Botuobinskaya refers to small pipes. There are reserves of buried placers. We started the first stage of industrial development of this pipe six years ago. According to the results of geologists' research, diamond sands are in complex marshy areas.

At the same time, the Botuobinskaya pipe is the future of our Plant. Work here goes on a pre-approved schedule. As of January 2018, the quarry reached a depth of 100 meters.

As in the main quarry, the requirements for occupational and industrial safety at the workplace, for the maintenance of machinery and equipment are also strictly observed here.

As you know, we are working on a rotational basis. People are busy around the clock in tough conditions. First of all, special attention is paid to the physical condition of workers, medical examination. As a result of joint work with the ALROSA Medical Center, six medical examination devices were purchased. Physicians monitor the level of blood pressure of workers every day, conduct checks on the breath tester. Along with this, there is a dental health care and a pharmacy.

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- Vasily Tarasovich, has the number of employees and specialists at the Nyurba Mining and Processing Plant changed?

- We have 1 530 employees, about 300 of them come from Nyurba ulus. Most shift workers are moved from Mirny by An-38 aircraft and Mi-8 helicopters.

- What are the results of 2017 for Nyurba Ore Mining and Processing Plant?

- The Nyurba Plant has fully complied with all the plans. Among the enterprises of ALROSA we have something to be proud of: both mined carats of diamonds and marketable products. Of course, the mining of diamonds by the quarry method is much more economical than the mine.

- The pride of the Nakyn ore deposit is the concentrating mill No 16. There are the most advanced powerful equipment and technologies. While in Nakyn, I was convinced that the mill also complied with the requirements of industrial safety. What is your opinion as a director, Vasily Tarasovich?

- The concentrating mill No. 16 is an example of compliance with occupational and industrial safety at our Plant. First of all, attention is paid to ensuring safety at the workplace. The work of all enrichment units of the mill No16 is accompanied by computer programs. The monitors show everything: how much ore is loaded in the bunker, where the stone is stuck, which unit refused, etc.

And the creation of favorable conditions at the workplace produced good results. For 15 years the concentrating mill number 16 has enriched diamonds of the most varied samples. I am sure that it was this mill that brought our Ore Mining and Processing Plant to a high level.

- The residents of the Vilyui group of the uluses of the republic are very concerned about the issues of ecology. And Nakyn is in the immediate vicinity of the Markha River - only 20 kilometers away. What works are being done in order not to pollute the surrounding nature?

- There is a special section of tailings thickening at the Nakyn ore deposit. This is a separate workshop, employing more than 10 people. In one shift there are filtermen, bunkermen and workers of electric conveyors. We use the technology of separation of pulp that comes out from the bowels of the mill. The pulp mixture is sent to a separate enrichment system. Solid rocks, all kinds of dirt are immediately transported to dumps.  Simply saying, the units of this workshop section purify all dirty industrial water.

So the Markha River never gets contaminated water, therefore, there is no negative impact. I consider this our great achievement and considerable contribution to the ecology.

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- And the use of oil for electricity and heating is not only an issue of economy, but the improvement of working conditions.

- Electricity is supplied by the Finnish Wärtsilä diesel station. But to bring diesel fuel to the Nakyn ore deposit from afar is rather expensive. Taking this into account, we started using oil at the power station and in the boiler house.

- Vasily Tarasovich, I was convinced that a large work on labor protection and industrial safety is being conducted at the ore-dressing plant entrusted to you. I hope that in the future we will talk about this more than once.

- Sure. This is a very important issue for all of us. I repeat: knowledge and observance of the rules and requirements of labor protection and industrial safety is an indispensable condition for every employee.

By Stanislav Alekseev, the city of Mirny

Photos by Stanislav Alekseev

Slava 'Gelio' Stepanov

Nyurba Mining and Processing Plant Archive