ST. PETERSBURG, December 7. /TASS/. Development of industrial projects in Yakutia’s Arctic zone requires about 360 billion rubles ($5.45 billion) in investments, Yakutia’s Deputy Prime Minister Denis Belozyorov told TASS on sidelines of The Arctic: Present and Future forum on Thursday.

“At the stage of preparation we have now [projects on] the North-Yakut backbone zone, the Arktika advance-development territory,” he said. “We plan both investment and anchor projects.”

“Work continues in the Oimyakon, Ust-Yana districts,” he continued. “The deposits’ development would require investments of about 360 billion rubles.”

According to the official, Alrosa continues development of the Verkhne-Munskoye deposit of diamonds in Yakutia. The deposit is some 170km from the company’s mining and processing plant in Udachnyi. Alrosa has explored there four kimberlite pipes. Alrosa estimates the kimberlite field’s reserves at 65 million tonnes, containing average 0.6 carats per a tonne, or the total of 38 million carats, he said.

Organization of the North-Yakutia backbone zone is a pilot project. Its experience later on will be used across the Arctic zone. The project will focus on development of the transport infrastructure, which is mostly water transport around the Northern Sea Route and along the Lena River’s basin. The program includes upgrade of ports, organization of the Zhataiskaya high-tech shipyard, building of various river vessels and vessels of the river-sea class.

Besides, the authorities plan to upgrade regional and local airports.

About the forum

The Arctic: Present and Future forum, organized by the Association of Polar Explorers, is underway in St. Petersburg from December 5 to December 7. The event features about 2,000 participants from Russian Arctic regions and from more than 20 countries, including the Arctic Council’s all member states.

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