Byreuvenveksler
August 30, 2022
6 min read

Top 10 largest mines in the world

Top 10 largest mines in the world
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Diamonds are born where?

The Earth’s interior is where natural diamonds are created. These stones are extremely rare and pricey due to their laborious and intricate production process. Mining is the process used to remove them from the planet. These are all well-known facts. But what do we actually know about the places, nations, and particular mines where diamonds are extracted?

For example, did you know that the globe has only a few dozen diamond mines? Are you aware that by the 2030s, the majority of them will have already closed?

The majority of gem enthusiasts who purchase diamonds and keep up with industry trends hardly give their origins much thought. On the other hand, this data can reveal a great deal about the stone’s past.

Although diamonds can be found all over the world, there are a few places on Earth where they are particularly abundant. Three nations stand out among the others with the highest concentration of diamonds: Africa, Australia, and Russia. The biggest diamond mines in the world are found in these nations.

Africa 

Orapa – the world’s largest mine

The largest diamond mine in the world is Orapa Mine. It can be found in Botswana. Orapa is the oldest of the four diamond mines run by Debswana, a joint venture between De Beers and the Botswana government, and has been producing diamonds since 1971.

The Orapa mine triple its previous mining capacity when it was developed in 1999. Currently, the mine yields 10.8 million carats of diamonds annually. On the other hand, in 2006, 17.3 million carats of diamonds were produced here, setting a record for diamond production.

The Orapa mine has a significant impact on the regional economy. First of all, it gives residents jobs. Second, by keeping up a hospital and offering schools for the kids of its employees, Debswana contributes to the community. Thirdly, the mine’s earnings enable Botswana’s government to make investments in vital national services.

Still, estimates indicate that the mine will continue to run until 2036.

Jwaneng – the world’s richest mine in value

In Botswana is the eighth-largest diamond mine. Debswana Diamond Company is the mine owner. This area has been mined since 1982.

Jwaneng is the world’s wealthiest diamond mine in terms of value, hence it may be said to hold a record. As of December 2018, the estimated proven and probable reserves amounted to 166 million ct.

The mine is scheduled to close in 2036.

Catoca

The fifth-largest diamond mine in the world is the Catoca open-pit mine, which is situated in Angola.

Sociedade Mineira de Catoca, a joint venture between China-based Lev Leviev International and Angola’s state-owned diamond business Endiama, Alrosa, operates the mine. Production at the mine began in 1993.

By 2037, the mine will be shut down.

Venetia

The Venetia Mine lies in South Africa’s Limpopo Province. It probable deposits valued at approximately 92 million carats.

De Beers is the owner, and it has been in use since 1992. In addition, its projected lifespan is thirty-one years.

Russia

Half of the world’s largest diamond mines exist in Russia, the largest nation by land area.

Udachny

With its deposits, Udachny is just somewhat less than Botswana’s Jwaneng mine. It is expected to have 164 million ct of reserves. The Yakutia region is home to this mine. Alrosa is also the owner of it.

At the Udachnaya mine, open-pit operations began in 1971, and by 2016, reserves had been exhausted. Therefore, the present method for accessing the subterranean reserves here is longhole retreat stopping.

Jubilee

One of the biggest diamond mines in the world is called Jubilee Mine. It is situated in Yakutia’s Sakha. Alrosa, a Russian diamond corporation, is the owner and operator of this open-pit mine.

Mine operations will continue until 2030.

Mir

The third-largest diamond mine, Mir, also called Mirny, is situated in Russia’s Yakutia region. The Mirny mining and processing branch of Alrosa is the owner.

While open-pit mining began in 1957 and ended in 2001, the Mir mine was discovered in 1955. Underground mining commenced in 2009; however, due to an incident in 2017, the mine flooded, resulting in the cessation of operations.

Although production at the mine is not expected to resume until 2030, Alrosa is currently considering how to establish a safe mining operation there.

Lomonosov

The Lomonosov mine appears to have Europe’s largest hard rock diamond resource. Its reserves of diamonds total over 74 million carats. Alrosa is also the owner of this mine.

Nyurba

The reserves of the open-pit mine Nyurba are made up of three deposits totaling about 133 million ct. Alrosa is the owner of the mine.

Australia

Argyle

The Argyle mine in Australia is one of the most well-known diamond mines in the world. Argyle ranks as the fourth largest diamond mine globally. Since 1983, Rio Tinto has owned it and has been producing diamonds there.

What is open pit mining?

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When enumerating the biggest diamond mines worldwide, the term “open pit mining” was frequently brought up. What’s that? What’s the deal?

A unique method of stone mining known as “open pit mining” involves taking diamonds out of the earth’s surface using a massive open pit. This method is not the same as other, more involved approaches like digging a tunnel into the ground.

Typically, open pit mines are excavated as “benches.” It indicates that the mine’s sides are sloping rather than vertical, and the benches represent the various mine levels. It is possible to work on multiple levels at once with this technique.

Open pit mining, however, causes a number of significant concerns and problems that need to be resolved right now. First of all, depending on what is extracted, open pit mines may release toxic materials into the atmosphere. Second, the environment and the miners’ safety are both at risk from the release of hazardous materials. Thirdly, the landscape is severely harmed by these mines. The habitat of numerous animals and insects is being destroyed, the soil is being depleted, and the flora is withering. The levels of groundwater are also impacted. Generally speaking, it has the potential to alter entire ecosystems.

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