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Best Known Diamond Mines in the World

Where Diamonds are Mined?

For a diamond mine to be exploited it needs to be commercially viable. In other words, there need to be enough diamonds found in the mine to pay off all the investment that goes into starting a commercially valuable diamond mine.

An open cut diamond mine
While there are hundreds and hundreds of diamond mines,
varying in their size, type of mining used and quality of gems found,
it's only the top 50 that produce around 90% of all diamonds.

Since diamonds are very rare, at any given time, there are not that many mines operating in the world. According to some data, the top 50 mines in the world produce by far most of the diamonds that are found.

We have selected here 7 of the best known diamond mines in the world.

Argyle diamond mine in Australia

Argyle mine located in the Kimberley region in the far north east of Western Australia, southwest to Lake Argyle. Owned by Rio Tinto Group, this mine is the world’s largest single producer of volume of diamonds, producing 14 million carats in 2018. However, due to low proportion of gem quality diamonds it is not the value leader. It does though produce 90-95% of the world’s supply of pink and red diamonds.

Baken diamond mine in South Africa

Baken diamond mine is located along the lower Orange River in South Africa. It is owned and operated by Lower Orange River Diamonds. The average size stone for 2004 was 1.29 carats. In 2004, this mine produced a 78.9 carat D color flawless diamond that sold for more than 1.8 million dollars (US), as well as a 27.67 pink diamond that was sold for over 1 million US dollars.

Kimberley region in Western Australia
The northernmost region of Western Australia is Kimberley,
home to many picturesque lakes and other natural wonders,
including Argyle diamond mine, located in the eastern part of it.

Diavik diamond mine in Canada

Diavik is also owned by Rio Tinto, located in Canada it is a very large mine. It is located north of Yellowknife and south of the Artic Circle on an island. The island is connected by an ice road. It is also an important part of the regions economy employing more than 700 people and producing more than 8 million carats annually. The mine is jointly owned by Rio Tinto Group and Dominion Diamond Corporation.

Ekati diamond mine in Canada

Ekati diamond mine is owned by BHP Billiton and located south of the artic circle in the Northwest Territories of Canada. The Ekati is Canada’s first operational diamond mine, mining both on the surface and underground. Diamonds mined here are sold under the Aurias trade name. Authenticity is verified through Canada Mark service. CanadaMark service is also owned by BHP Billiton Diamonds, Inc.

Merlin diamond mine in Australia

Merlin is the second of only three diamond mines in Australia. It's located in the Northern Territory of Australia. No longer operating, it was owned by Rio Tinto and sold to Striker Resources, who has explored the possibilities of reopening the mine. It had unusually high proportion of gem quality diamonds of 65%, as opposed to worlwide average being 20%.

The Big Hole in Kimberley city, South Africa
Not to be confused with same named region in Australia, Kimberley
city is the capital of the Northern Cape Province in South Africa and
the place where DeBeers diamond mining company was established.

Orapa diamond mine in Botswana

Orapa is the world’s largest diamond mine. It us located 240 Km west of Francistown. The mine is owned by “Debswana” which is a partnership between DeBeers and the government of Botswana. This mine operates 7 days a week. It maintains pre primary and primary schools for its employee’s children. There is also a 100 bed hospital and game park. This mine began production in 1971 and is the oldest mine owned by the Debswana Company.

Premier diamond mine in South Africa

The Premier mine located in Cullinan, South Africa produced the largest gem diamond ever in 1905. The Cullinan Diamond weighed 3,106.75 carats. This mine also produced the Golden Jubilee diamond, which weighed 545.67 carats. This mine is owned by the De Beers Company and was renamed The Cullinan Diamond Mine in 2003 in celebration of its centennial.

Other diamond mines

The majority of other important diamond mines are located in Canada, Russia, South Africa and Botswana. There are also important mines in Angola and Zimbabwe, as well as India and Indonesia.

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