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Top 10 Diamond Mines, World’s Largest Diamond Mining Countries

Have you ever thought about which are the top diamond producing mines? Well, usually, people don’t. But it is a matter to consider. This is because experts warn that the demand for diamonds may outstrip. Although they predicted it would be in 2019, the largest mines kept producing the desired rocks at full steam. 

Diamonds have always been a sign of love, prosperity, and success. No other gemstone can be worn on the hand and be so valuable. The diamond industry has had a tremendous impact on the global economy for centuries.

The diamond industry has existed for more than 500 years and is still growing exponentially. People are so fascinated with diamonds because they are rare, and there is no substitute for them.

The first diamond mines were uncovered in India, where diamonds were mined from riverbeds and then traded with traders from Persia. Eventually, traders from Europe traveled to India to get their supply of diamonds. This is how the diamond industry first started in India and eventually spread worldwide.

Diamonds were first mined commercially in 1870 in South Africa, but now they are mined in locations worldwide, including Canada, Russia, Brazil, Angola, Nigeria, and Australia.

This was a brief introduction to diamond and diamond mines. But, this little information is not enough to know about diamond mines. Therefore, let’s comprehend this subject in detail by going through the following topics part by part.

  • Where are diamonds mined? 
  • 10 top diamond producing mines 2020 
  • World’s Largest Diamond Mining Countries 
  • A Brief Introduction To Black Diamond Mines
  • History Of Black Diamond Mines
diamond mine

So, without squandering any time, let’s get into the details about these topics.

Most of the world’s natural gem-quality diamonds are mined in places where diamond jewelry is not widely worn. The United States, India, China, the European Union, Japan, Hong Kong, and the Middle East are the top consumers of diamond jewelry.

Over 40% of the world’s diamond jewelry is consumed in the United States. Another 40% of the world’s diamond jewelry is consumed in the other areas listed. However, none of these regions are even near to becoming top diamond producing mines.

Where Are Diamonds Mined? 

The majority of the world’s gem-quality diamonds have been mined in Africa since the 1870s. Russia and Canada have significantly increased their diamond output, and they now produce about half of the world’s diamonds. However, Africa continues to deliver the majority of natural gem-quality diamonds. We can say that diamonds are mined in many parts of the world. So, let’s proceed further to the section where we will glance at the top diamond producing mines.

Jwaneng diamond mine
Jwaneng diamond mine, Botswana. GRID-Arendal resources library Photo: Peter Prokosch

10 Top Producing Mines 2020

According to GlobalData’s mining database, the ten largest diamond mines in the world by production in 2020 are shown below.

Mine Jwaneng

The Jwaneng Mine is a surface mine located in Botswana’s Kgalagadi District. It is one of the world’s largest diamond mines. The greenfield mine, which the Botswana government owns, produced 18,725 thousand carats of diamonds in 2020. The mine is set to run until 2036.

Mine Kao

Namakwa Diamonds owns the Kao Mine, located in Butha-Buthe, Lesotho. In 2020, the surface mine was expected to generate 12,384 thousand carats of diamond. Thus, it managed to pave its way in the list of top diamond producing mines. The mine is set to run until 2034. 

Mine Orapa

The Orapa Mine is a surface mine in Botswana’s Central District. The greenfield mine, which the Botswana government owns, was expected to produce 9,021 thousand carats of diamond in 2020. The mine is set to run until 2036.

Mine Catoca 

The Catoca Mine is a surface mine in Lunda Sul, Angola, owned by ALROSA. In 2020, the greenfield mine was expected to generate 7,372 thousand carats of diamond, thus making it one of the largest diamond mines. The mine is planned to close in 2037.

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Project Gahcho Kue

The Gahcho Kue Project is an open-pit mine in Canada’s Northwest Territories. Mountain Province Diamonds owns the greenfield mine, which was expected to produce 6,518 thousand carats of diamonds in 2020. Consequently, it paved its way in the world’s largest diamond mines list. The mine will be operational until 2030.

Mine Diavik

The Diavik Mine is a Canadian underground mine in the Northwest Territories. Rio Tinto owns the brownfield mine, which was expected to produce 6,218 thousand carats of diamond in 2020. The mine is set to run until 2025.

Jubilee Mine 

ALROSA owns the Jubilee Mine in the Sakha (Yakutia) Republic of Russia. In 2020, the surface mine was expected to generate 6,209 thousand carats of diamond. Therefore, it became one of the largest diamond mines. The mine is set to run until 2030.

Project Superkolong

The Superkolong Project is a surface mine in South Africa’s Northern Cape. Batla Minerals owns the brownfield mine, which is expected to produce 4,412 thousand carats of diamond in 2020. 

Udachny Mine

The ALROSA-owned Udachny Mine is an underground mine in Russia’s Sakha (Yakutia) Republic. In 2020, the greenfield mine was expected to generate 4,143 thousand carats of diamond. The mine is planned to close in 2037.

Project Vladimir Grib

The Vladimir Grib Project is a surface mine in the Russian oblast of Arkhangelsk. The greenfield mine, which Otkritie Holding owns, was expected to produce 3,931 thousand carats of diamond in 2020. Hence, it came on the list of top diamond producing mines. The mine will be operational until 2033.

Catoca diamond mine
Catoca diamond mine. angowindhoektourism

These were the 10 top diamond producing mines. With the end of the list, we are now moving forward to the World’s Largest Diamond Mining Countries. 

World’s Largest Diamond Mining Countries 

Diamond-producing countries are those that discover and produce diamonds. The two primary brands around the Earth are the northern and southern bands. Diamonds are also found in a third middle band, albeit in smaller amounts and with a lower value. The north band includes Russia and Canada, two of the world’s major diamond producers. The Southern band includes southern African countries such as Botswana, South Africa, Namibia, and Australia. The middle band includes Africa’s Ivory Coast and Sierra Leone and South America’s Venezuela and Brazil.

Russia

As of 2020, Russia is ranked first among the world’s largest diamond mining countries. Russia makes 23,000,000 carats of gem-quality diamonds annually, making it the world’s most significant diamond producer. Since 2009, Russia has been the world’s leading diamond producer, and diamonds have been discovered in Russia since the 18th century.

Where do the majority of diamonds originate? Well, Russia currently generates 30% of the world’s diamonds.

Russia produces 23,000,000 carats of diamonds.

Botswana

Botswana is a landlocked country in Southern Africa, formally known as the Republic of Botswana. In 2020, Botswana became the second world’s largest diamond mining country. Botswana was a pioneer in bulk sampling and one of the first to describe and detect diamond pipes over a broad and challenging geographic area. Botswana’s first diamond reserves were discovered in 1966. Botswana’s diamond production increased by 6% last year, the quickest growth rate among the world’s top ten diamond producers.

16,000,000 carats of diamonds are produced in Botswana

Canada 

You wouldn’t expect Canada to be at the top of the significant diamond-producing countries regarding output. Canada is the biggest jaw-dropper on this list, ranking third among the world’s largest diamond mining countries in 2020. Canada is the newest diamond-producing country on this list. Geologists discovered diamond deposits in the Arctic region, and the country has since grown to become a major diamond producer. Leading diamond firms such as Rio Tinto, Dominion Diamond, De Beers, and Stornoway Diamonds operated important diamond mines in Canada, including Diavik, Ekati, and Gahcho Kué in the NorthWest Territories, the Renard mine in Quebec, and the Victor mine in Ontario.

13,000,000 carats of diamonds are produced in Canada

Angola

Angola is a diamond-rich African country known for its vast diamond riches, which produced 8,500,000 carats of gem-quality diamonds in 2018. Angola began producing diamonds over a century ago when it was a Portuguese territory. Lucapa Diamond Company owns the Lulo Mine in Angola, which is well-known. Diamonds and oil are Angola’s most valuable resources.

Angola produces 8,500,000 carats of diamonds, thus making it the largest diamond mine country. 

South Africa

South Africa is the birthplace of the contemporary diamond industry. Prior to South Africa’s entry into diamond production, the commodity was genuinely a rare gem, but it was made commonplace by South Africa. South Africa currently produces 7,700,000 carats of diamonds per year and is known for its valuable pink and blue diamonds.

Despite being the world’s first diamond producer, South Africa’s diamond mines are now declining, with only a few extensive deposits remaining. Despite this, diamonds are still mined in South Africa from alluvial deposits and pipes. With this, it managed to come on the list of the world’s largest diamond mining countries in 2020. 

South Africa produces 7,700,000 carats of diamonds.

Kao Mine. wikimapia

A Brief Introduction To Black Diamond Mines

With the end in the list of top diamond producing countries, it is time to get near and dear to the black diamond mines in brief. 

The East Bay Regional Park District manages the Black Diamond Mines Regional Preserve, a 6,000-acre (2,400 hectares) park north of Mount Diablo in Contra Costa County, California (EBRPD). The land was purchased by the district in 1973. The preserve houses remnants from three mining communities, as well as former coal and sand mines and guided tours of a former sand mine. The Preserve’s 60 miles (97 kilometers) of paths travel through grassland, California oak woodland, California mixed evergreen forest, and chaparral.

History Of Black Diamond Mines 

Coal field of Mt. Diablo

While clearing up a spring on his land in Horse Haven Valley, six miles south of Antioch, in 1859, William C. Israel discovered a coal mine. His first attempt to extract the coal was unsuccessful monetarily, but more coal reserves were located nearby, and mining activities spread quickly. The area became known as Mount Diablo Coalfield, California’s most significant, producing about 400 million short tonnes (357 million long tonnes) of coal.

Rose Hill Cemetery 

Rose Hill Cemetery, officially defined as a Protestant cemetery, is located on a hillside between the Somersville and Nortonville townsites. It is the final resting place for almost 200 coalfield people. It is another black diamond mine. The cemetery fell into disrepair after the mines stopped and the adjacent villages were abandoned. Vandals stole or destroyed a large number of gravestones. 

Sandstone Mine- another black diamond mine 

On a slope above the Somersville townsite, proprietor Marvin Greathouse opened a black diamond mine producing high-quality silica sandstone in the 1920s. He sold the invention to the Hazel-Atlas Glass Company, a glass container manufacturer based in Oakland. Hazel-Atlas eventually purchased the mine, which ran it until around 1945. In the 1970s, EBRPD adapted the Hazel-Atlas mine as a museum, but storm damage in 2007 forced the attraction’s closure for lengthy renovations. It was closed for five years before reopening.

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