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How Are Diamonds Mined?


Approximately 130 million carats are mined across the globe every year, and about 65% of them come from South Africa, Botswana, the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), and Botswana. Also, while oil revenues are n important part of Angola’s economy, when measured by their per-carat value, that country’s diamonds are considered to be some of the world’s best. Today, Angola belongs to the Kimberly Process, an organization that regulates international trading of diamonds.

Alluvial Diamond Mining

Alluvial diamond mining is used to describe the recovery of diamonds from gravel, clay, and sand, and large deposits of these diamonds are mined industrially. In areas where the diamonds are too scattered to be mined on that basis, they are mined on a small scale and go unregulated.

Industrial alluvial diamond mining is known for its government investment, high investment in general, strict regulations, and the fact that it is engaged in by formal mining businesses. The process requires the removal of a large amount of material to get to the source of the diamonds. When the diamonds are found on river beds or on the shore, the gravel is dug up and brought to a plant to be washed and screened. If diamonds are found on the ocean floor, ships that are specially constructed for the job vacuum up the gravel before it is brought in for screening. All the sand and gravel that is removed in the process is prepared to be reused in a variety of ways, such as rehabilitating the mining area.

Diamond Mining in the Twenty-first Century

Diamonds are now mined in approximately 25 countries, on every continent except Antarctica and Europe, and scientific advances have resulted in the expansion of diamond mining and exploration on a worldwide basis. Regardless of the location, primary diamonds are found in ancient terrain where lamproite and kimberlite pipes bring them to the surface.


“Africa: Mining – World news –” Breaking News, Weather, Business, Health, Entertainment, Sports, Politics, Travel, Science, Technology, Local, US & World News- N.p., n.d. Web. 6 Aug. 2010.

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