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Top 10: Diamond Mines in the World

Top 10: Diamond Mines in the World
Ekati diamond mine in Canada
Mir diamond mine in Russia
A shot of De Beers' Venetia mine in South Africa

10.) Botuobinskaya (Russia)

Located in the Yakutia region of Russia, the Botuobinskaya diamond mine is estimated to contain roughly 70 million carats. The mine, which is scheduled to commence production in 2015, is owned and operated by Nyurba mining and processing division of ALROSA.

The company began the first phase of the stripping operation in late 2012. The operation will last three years with mining operations expected to begin in the fourth quarter of 2015. The Botuobinskaya mine will produce 1.5 million carats of diamonds annually for more than 40 years.

9.) Orapa (Africa)

As the world’s largest diamond mine by area, the Orapa diamond mine is located 240km west of Francistown city in Central Botswana. The open-pit mine is estimated to contain 85.7 million carats of diamond reserves.

Orapa commenced production in 1971 and underwent expansion in 1999 to double its previous capacity. Owned and operated by Debswana, a partnership betweenthe De Beers Company and the government of Botswana, the site is the oldest of the four diamond mines operated by Debswana.

8.) Jwaneng (Africa)

Another major diamond mine is Botswana is the Jwaneng site, which is located 160 miles south-west of Gaborone in south central Botswana. The mine, which has been in production since 1982, is another partnership owned and operated site by the De Beers Company and the Government of Botswana.

Regarded as the “richest” diamond mine in the world in terms of value, the Jwaneng mine is estimated to contain roughly 88 million carats of diamond reserves. Since 2010, the mine has undergone a major expansion (Cut-8) to extend the mine’s life cycle until 2025.

7.) Grib (Russia)

Located in the north-western part of Russia, Grib is an open-pit diamond mine estimated to contain over 98 million carats. The mine is expected to become the largest diamond mine in Russia in terms of size.

The Grib mine is owned and operated by Lukoil through its subsidiary Arkhangelskgeoldobycha (AGD). With production commencing in June 2013, the site is planned to go underground after 16 years of open-pit operation.

Grib is the first new non-alluvial diamond mine to produce more than one million carats per year.

6.) Venetia (South Africa)

Owned and operated by De Beers, the Venetia diamond mine is estimated to contain more than 102 million carats. Located in the province of Limpopo in South Africa, the site is both an open-pit and underground mine producing roughly 3.066 million carats of diamonds in 2012.

With deposits consisting of 12 kimberlite pipes, the Venetia mine is the largest diamond producing mine in South Africa.

5.) Catoca (Africa)

Located in Angola, the Catoca is the fifth largest diamond mine in the world. Operated by Sociedade Mineira de Catoca, the mine is a joint venture with state-owned diamond company Endiama (32.8 percent), ALROSA (32.8 percent), China and state oil producer Sonangol (18 percent) and Odebrecht of Brazil (16.4 percent).

The mine is estimated to contain 130 million carats of mineable diamond. The Catoca mine accounted for 70 percent of Angola’s total diamond output.

4.) Argyle (Australia)

The Argyle mine in Western Australia is estimated to contain 140 million carats of diamond.

Owned and operated by Rio Tinto, the mine has been in production since 1983 with peak production expected to hit 20 million carats a year. The Argyle mine is currently transitioning from an open-pit mine to underground, becoming the first block cave mine in Western Australia.

The mine is expected to produce until 2020.

3.) Mir (Russia)

Before decommissioning in 2001, the Mir mine was the largest diamond mine in the world. Discovered in 1955, the Mir diamond mine is owned and operated by ALROSA and estimated to contain 141 million carats of diamonds.

Underground operations recommenced in 2009 and the site is expected to produce one million carats in 2014.

2.) Udachny (Russia)

One of many diamond mines owned by ALROSA, the Udachny mine in Russia is on pace to become the largest diamond mine in the world.

Located in the Yakutia region of Russia, Udachny is estimated to contain over 152 million carats of diamonds. Discovered in 1955, the mine is one of the deepest open-pit mines in the world, producing 10 million carats of diamonds a year.

1.) Jubilee (Russia)

Ranking number one on our list, the Jubilee diamond mine in Russia is the epitome of producing mines. The site is estimated to contain more than 153 million carats of recoverable diamonds, including 51 million carats of probably underground reserves.

Owned and operated by the Aikhal mining and processing division of state-owned ALROSA, the site is an open-pit mine operating at depths of 320 meters with expectations of eventually reaching 729 meters. In 2012, the Jubilee diamond mine produced 10.4 million carats of ore.

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