The top five producing countries (Russia, Botswana, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, South Africa, and Canada) account for more than 75 percent of total raw diamond production. The estimate for the total production of rough diamonds is around 500 tons, of which only 20 to 30 percent are gem-quality stones. But we go with our list of the largest and most important diamond mines in the world…
- Kimberley Diamond Mine
South Africa is the first place where diamonds were found in their original volcanic origin, and of the myriad mines in the country, none is better known to the public than Kimberley. Also, it gives the name to a type of igneous rock that probably contains diamonds, the kimberlite. The first diamond fever in South Africa put the Kimberley diamond mines on the map, which made them an integral part of the country’s initial economic development.
- Finsch diamond mine
The Finsch Diamond Mine is one of several mines in all of Africa owned by Petra Diamonds. The Finsch mine is very similar to the other mines owned by Petra Diamonds in that it recovers its stones from a diamond kimberlite intrusion. The total extension of the pipeline barely exceeds 18 hectares, and 2015 estimates indicate that there is enough ore to keep the mine in operation for at least two decades.
- Ekati diamond mine
The Ekati diamond mine is an underground and open-pit diamond mine located in the Northwest Territories of Canada. Dominion Corporation is the majority shareholder with 80 percent; the remaining 20 percent is divided equally between the two geologists who discovered the site first.
- Venetia diamond mine
The Venetia diamond mine, owned by Beers, is an open-pit mine where the stones come from a diamond, as usual. The reserves are estimated at a staggering 94 million carats, which, at the current rate of extraction, should keep operations running until 2046.
- Argyle diamond mine
The Argyle mine in the East Kimberley region, near the homonymous lake it is owned by Australian pink diamonds the mine extracts its diamonds from a lamproite pipe, which is a volcanic pipe similar to the type of kimberlite. The mine produces a large volume of Australian pink diamonds, with an average production of 35 million carats per year. The diamonds themselves are medium to low grade, and most of their gem-quality stones are brown diamonds. Given the fact that the demand for this tone is quite low, most of the mine’s revenue comes from the sale of pink and red stones.