Where Diamonds are Mined

Where Diamonds are MinedIn the Kimberley region of north east Australia, the Argye mine, owned by Rio Tinto, produces the world’s largest supply of diamonds by volume. However, it is not the world’s most valuable mine because only a small percentage of its diamonds are considered gem quality. Even so, the Argye mine is unique in that it produces ninety to ninety-five percent of the world’s supply of pink diamonds.

The only other diamond mine in Australia is the Merlin mine, which was also owned by Rio Tinto before being sold to Striker Resources. This mine is no longer in operation although Striker Resources has been exploring the possibility of reopening the mine.

Another large diamond mine owned by Rio Tinto is the Diavik mine which is located on an island in the Northwest Territories of Canada north of its capital city, Yellowknife, and south of the Arctic Circle. Due to its location in the far north, an ice road connects the island.

Despite this, the mine is key player in the region’s economy because it employs more than seven hundred people while producing more than eight million diamond carats per year.

Another Canadian diamond mine is the Ekati mine, owned by BHP Billiton. This mine is
also located in the Northwest Territories, south of the Arctic Circle. The Ekati mine was
Canada’s first operational diamond mine. The diamonds mined here are sold under the
trade name Aurius; they are authenticated through Canada Mark service which is owned
by BHP Billiton Diamonds, Inc.

Turning to Africa, the Baken diamond mine is located on the lower Orange River in South Africa. Owned and operated by Trans Hex, this mine produces diamond stones with an average size of 1.29 carats. This mine’s most famous stone, a 78.9 carat D-color flawless diamond, was produced in 2004 and was sold for more than 1.8 million dollars (US). Also that year, a 27.67 carat pink diamond was produced. It sold for more than one million dollars (US).

The world’s largest diamond mine, the Orapa mine, is located two hundred and forty kilometers west of Francistown, Botswana. This mine is jointly owned by the government of Botswana and the diamond company De Beers in a partnership known as “Debswana”.

This mine began operation in 1971 and is the oldest mine owned by the Debswana Company. This mine is operational seven days a week and has the facilities of a small city. Among other things, the mine maintains pre-primary and primary schools for children of mine employees, a game park as well as a one hundred bed hospital.

While the De Beers Company partly owns the world’s largest mine, its most famous mine is perhaps the Premier mine which is located in Cullinan, South Africa. This mine produced the largest gem quality diamond ever found on record. Discovered in 1905, the gem, named the Cullinan Diamond, weighed in at 3106.75 carats. It was cut into nine principal diamonds, known as Cullinan diamonds I through IX. Cullinan diamonds I and II are currently in the Crown Jewels of the United Kingdom. This mine also produced another famous stone, the Golden Jubilee diamond. This diamond weighed in at 545.67 carats once it was cut. It is estimated to be worth between four and twelve million dollars (US). In 2003, during the celebration of the mine’s centennial, the De Beers Company renamed the mine The Cullinan Diamond mine to honor its location.

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2018-01-08T17:27:51+00:00 April 11th, 2014|Categories: Diamonds|0 Comments

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