The History Of The Biggest Diamond Mines On Earth

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MinesWe know that engagement rings are no small investment. We also know that you have done your research about 4Cs but when shopping around for one of the most important gifts you'll ever give, do you ever wonder where that beautiful gem’s origin, how it came to be and what part of the world it comes from? We have done some research of our own and discovered some incredible facts about diamond mines in various parts of the world and their varied histories.

What is a Mine?
A mine is just a large man-made crater in the ground. They are sometimes nicknamed "Earth's Scars" because they are enormous in size and can be seen from miles above the Earth. From them, natural materials are extracted and have been since the dawn of civilization. Early man picked up materials close to Earth's surface and used them for tools and weapons. The oldest known mine is the "Lion Cave" in Swaziland, which is 43,000 years old.
Orapa Diamond Mine

The Orapa Diamond Mine is located in Botswana, Africa and holds the title for the largest diamond mine on the planet. Orapa, which translates to "resting place for lions," began operations in the summer of 1971 and has since produced over 11 million carats of diamonds per year. Orapa achieves this by operating seven days a week. It not only produces diamonds, but also 20 million tons of ore, yet another natural resource. But what really makes this mine one of a kind is its philanthropic and humanitarian stance on employee benefits. Not only does the site employ over 3,000 people, but each employee is granted access to an on-site 100-bed hospital, pre-primary and primary schools for their children, and a game park.
Mir Mine

Mir Mine, though now inactive, used to be one of the world's largest and most successful diamond mines. Located in Siberia, it has the distinction of being the first diamond mine in the Soviet Union. Russian geologists Yuri Khabardin, Ekaterina Elagina and Viktor Avdeenko, discovered Mir Mine, meaning “World Mine,” in 1955. Khabardin was later given the Lenin Prize, the highest honor one could receive in the Soviet Union at the time, for its discovery. This mine was run successfully for 44 years until it was shut down in 2001.
Diavik Diamond Mine

This diamond mine is closer to the US’s borders, located in Northwestern Canada. Though it isn't nearly as large as Mir, it produces an impressive 8 million carats each year. This site only begun production ten years ago, in 2003, and already it has been recognized as one of the largest and most successful diamond mines on the planet. It is also one of the most remarkable mines due to its location. The Diavik Diamond Mine is on a small island in the middle of Lac de Gras, which can only be reached during the winter on makeshift roads carved into the frozen lake. This mine is not only a huge excavation center, but also boasts breathtaking scenery.

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The History Of The Biggest Diamond Mines On Earth

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