Where are diamonds mined?
Diamonds have been found in approximately 35 countries worldwide, with Southern Africa leading the field.
The beauty of a diamond is truly unbelievable. But did you know the source of a diamond is almost just as incredible? While diamonds have been discovered in approximately 35 countries worldwide, Southern Africa remains one of the leading diamond producers in the world with South Africa widely regarded for its top quality diamond deposits. Here’s a look at the top leading diamond producers in the world:
DIAMONDS AROUND THE WORLD
Only a handful of countries naturally produce diamonds.
The entire diamond industry, from mine to finger takes place through a series of events; from the sourcing process to the retail store, a diamond undergoes multiple steps before it reaches the wearer. Even though diamonds are manufactured and sold worldwide only a handful of countries naturally produce diamonds.
Earth is divided into two separate diamond producing bands, the Northern band and the Southern band. The Northern band consists of Canada and Russia and the Southern band includes Botswana, South Africa, Namibia, and Australia. The centre band of the Earth is also known to produce diamonds in countries such as Ivory Coast and Sierra Leone in Africa, and Venezuela and Brazil in South America.
DIAMOND MINING IN BOTSWANA
Southern Africa is one of the largest diamond manufacturing regions.
Did you know Southern Africa is one of the largest diamond manufacturing regions? Botswana is one of the top diamond producers in the world measured by value and secondly, by volume. Even Meghan Markle’s engagement ring consists of diamonds from the country. Even today, De Beers sources a majority of their diamonds from Botswana.
The Southern African country is known for having seven well-established mines with Orapa and Jwaneng being the two most established diamond mines in the world. Both of these mines are operated by the De Beers Diamond Company.
Diamonds from Botswana all come in different sizes, colour, and clarity with a high volume of gem-quality stones. These exquisite diamonds are dodecahedral shaped and all come in medium to high colours covered with a greenish skin.
DIAMOND MINING IN SOUTH AFRICA
The Cullinan was discovered in South Africa.
South Africa is home to the most breathtakingly beautiful diamonds in the world. Diamonds of all shapes and sizes have been discovered in the remarkable diamond country. One of the largest gem-quality diamonds, The Cullinan was discovered in South Africa; the exquisite diamond weighed an estimated 3106 carats.
South Africa is known for having a variety of different mining deposits all around the country. Diamonds are discovered through alluvial mining, underground kimberlite pipes and offshore marine mining. Most of the mines in the country are mainly operated by De Beers and diamond producers such as Petra diamonds, Trans Hex and Diamondcorp.
DIAMOND MINING IN ZIMBABWE
Zimbabwe produces medium-range colour diamonds with a high quality.
A great portion of the land in Zimbabwe has been mined for diamonds, leading to a few well-established mines in the area. For example, Murowa mine, operated by Rio Tinto is known for regularly producing breathtakingly beautiful shaped medium-range colour diamonds with a high quality. Other larger sized diamonds are discovered through alluvial mining; the diamonds found through this method are usually coated in a variety of skin colours resulting in fancy colour stones. These alluvial mines are operated in Marange by local as well as international companies.
DIAMOND MINING IN ANGOLA
The rough diamonds typically found in Angola are round dodecahedral diamonds.
Angola is known for having an extensive resource of diamond deposits, especially in the Lunda Norte and Lunda Sul province. One of the most well-established mines in the country is the Catoca mine. The African mine currently ranks as the fourth largest diamond mine in the world. The open-pit mine has an expected mining life of 30 years and is operated by Sociedade Mineira de Catoca. The mine has a reputation for producing an estimated 7 million carats each year.
The rough diamonds typically found in Angola are round dodecahedral diamonds of medium and yellowish colour with a more than usual production of larger diamonds. Most of the diamonds are sourced through an agreement by the state-owned mining company, ENDIAMA.
DIAMOND MINING IN LESOTHO
Lesotho is known for producing large diamonds.
Even though Lesotho doesn’t have a large number of diamonds they produce on regular bases, the country maintains its reputation with its consistent production of very large diamonds. Some of the diamonds mined on yearly bases are larger than 100 carats. The mine primarily responsible for the production of larger diamonds is Letseng. Other developing diamond mines include Lemphane, Liqhobong, the Mothae project and the Kao mine.
DIAMOND MINING IN THE DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF CONGO
Most of the diamonds are discovered through alluvial mining by artisanal miners.
The DRC is the third largest diamond-producing country by volume; however, numbers have declined significantly throughout the years. Most of the diamonds are discovered through alluvial mining by artisanal miners, as there are no official diamond producers in DRC. De Beers has a 20% stakeholder in Belgian company Sibeka, who produces one-third of the diamonds in the country. Up until this day, only a small part of the country has been mined for diamonds using modern technology; the DRC has a lot of potential for mining sectors in certain parts of the country that yet still need to be explored.
DIAMOND MINING IN CANADA
Canada is one of the leading diamond producers in the world.
Did you know the first ever Canadian mine opened in 1998, over a century after diamonds were discovered in South Africa? In 1991 two men named Chuck Fipke and Stewart Blossom discovered a kimberlite pipe filled with diamonds close to Yellowknife, in the Northwest Territories. This resulted in Canada becoming one of the leading diamond producers in the world. Today, the country has four working mines located in Diavik, Ekati, Snap Lake and Victor.
Canadian diamonds are generally white or brown in colour. Each Canadian diamond is accompanied with a certificate of Authenticity; the certificate includes the official polar bear insignia from the Government of the North West Territories.
DIAMOND MINING IN RUSSIA
The country is home to five open-pit mines.
Russia is one of the largest diamond producers in the world. The diamonds most commonly found in the country is known for their eight facets and sharp corners. The diamond mines in Russia, however, have a good reputation for producing diamonds of all shapes, colours and clarities. The country is home to five open-pit mines, fourteen alluvial placers and four underground mines located in Yakutia; all of which are operated by ALROSA. Another well-established mine is the Grib diamond mine operated by LUKoil.
DIAMONDS IN AUSTRALIA
The country is one of the leading colour diamond producers in the world.
Australian Mining organisations have been established since 1908 and still continue to play a significant part in the diamond industry. The country is one of the leading colour diamond producers in the world. The colour diamonds that are predominantly found in Australia is pink, purple and red. Most of these extraordinary diamonds are discovered at the largest diamond mine in Australia, Argyle. The well-known mine is operated by Rio Tinto and produces up to 12 million carats each year. Argyle used to be an open mine pit mine, but over the years it has become an underground operation.
Other mines that play an important role in Australia and in the mining industry as a whole, is the Ellendale and Merlin mine. Today, diamond mining is considered one of Australia’s most powerful industries.