Diamonds are forever, or so the song says. Natural resources are very important for our economies. Some countries do well to mine the resources they have and use them, either for export, or internally, turning them into valuable products which the world needs.
Diamonds are highly pressurized carbon atoms. Diamonds have the highest hardness and the highest thermal conductivity. They are used for everything from being gems, to a widespread industrial use, which is their most common use-case scenario, such as being an abrasive surface, such as glass cutters or concrete saws. They are also used for speakers, windows, as a thermal conductive material or heatsink.
Countries with large diamond mines have it well. Here are the world’s largest diamond mines.
Aikhal – Russia
Located in Sakha, Russia, Aikhal is the largest diamond mine in the world. There are multiple deposits, the most known being the Jubilee pipe. There are three more pipes, Komsomolskaya, Aikhal and Zarya pipe, the latter still being under development. Parts of the mine are open-pit, while some parts are underground. The mine is owned by Russian company Alrosa.
Two of the pipes are using the open-pit method, Jubilee and Komsomolskaya, while Aikhal is underground. The Aikhal pipe was open-pit until 1997. The Zarya pipe will be mined using open-pit methods.
Jwaneng – Botswana
The Jwaneng mine is very large, only a couple of million carats smaller than the Aikhal mine. Located near Gaborone, the capital of Botswana, it is owned by Debswana Diamond Company, which in turn owned half by the Botswana government, and the other half is owned by De Beers, an anglo-american company. It has been in use since 1982 and is around 70% of the income of Debswana, the other being another 3 mines. It is an open-pit mine.
Udachny – Russia
Udachny is another mine from Russia and it is also owned by Alrosa. The Udachnaya pit was in use since 1971 and has been depleted in 2016.
There are projects which are aimed towards underground exploration. Another pipe, Zarnitsa is an open-pit mine and there are plans for going from 100 meters to 200. There is another deposit, called the Verkhne-Munskoe, which has five pipes, at the moment.
Nyurba – Russia
It is interesting that 3 of the top 4 largest diamond mines are located in Russia. If the list was to be a top 5 list, then the fifth largest mine would be in Botswana. Nyurba has three pipes and is an open-pit design, like most of the mines on the list, with a few exceptions.
These are the world’s 4 largest diamond mines, most of which are located in Russia and Botswana, making these two countries the world’s largest diamond deposits.