The open pit mine is located in Aykhal, Siberia as part of the Aykhal production site - one of the world-leading diamond producing companies ALROSA. Many rockfalls occur as a result of melting permafrost slopes. At this underground mine, trucks are permanently using the portal to the quarry.
Conventional wire mesh was used in the past to safeguard the portal. This mesh did not provide enough safety and had to be changed every two or three years. Alrosa decided to test Geobrugg state-of-the-art technology.
One of the challenges was the delivery of material and drilling machinery to the site: In winter time you may use the ice road which runs along the river Lena. In the summer material has to be delivered by ship, what takes 1.5 months from the European part of Russia to this site. In the end, the installation had to be carried out during the short period when temperatures are above freezing which is from mid of May to mid of September.