Top 10 diamond mines
Diamonds are universally considered a very valuable commodity – that’s why diamond mines and the companies who own them are constantly working to uncover and sell them to diamond distributors all around the globe. Let’s take a look at the top 10 diamond mines around the world based on their annual output, for the 2016 records on diamond production.
Based on output figures from Mining.com
10 | Jwaneng Mine (Botswana)
The largest mine on the list, coming top not only in terms of production but also in value, is the Jwaneng Mine in Botswana. It produced a staggering 11.9mn carats last year, with reserves estimated at 149mn carats. This mine is located in Southern Botswana near Gaborone. Owned and operated by Debswana, which is a partnership of the De Beers Group and the Botswana Government, it’s going to be highly profitable for years to come for both of these interested parties.
9 | Jubilee Mine (Russia)
This mine is also known as the “Yubileinaya” and is located in Russia’s Yakutia region. Also owned by the Alrosa Group, it has continued to be a top producer since its opening. The mine produced a tremendous 9.2mn carats in 2016, with an estimated value of $1,431mn. This mine has been an open pit operation since 1989 with reserves estimated at 125mn carats.
8 | Orapa Diamond Mine (Botswana)
One of the two primary mines in Botswana owned by the De Beers Group and the Botswana Government, in a partnership known as the Debswana Partnership, is the Orapa Diamond Mine. Producing an estimated 7.9mn carats last year, this mine is actually the world’s largest in area for an open pit mine. The reserves there are estimated at 85.7mn carats worth of diamonds making it a huge focus of the government for their gross national product.
7 | The Botuobinskaya Mine (Russia)
The Botubinskaya Mine is actually part of what is now considered the Nyurba Mining and Processing Division of the Alrosa Group. This mine is located in the Nakyn ore field. This is one of the newest mines to be utilised, only producing diamonds since 2015. Currently, the mine is on target to produce 7.5mn carats per year with a reserve estimated at 69.3mn. Since it’s so new, this location is expected to produce rare diamonds for the next 30 years.
6 | The Ekati Diamond Mine (Canada)
The Ekati Diamond Mine, the name of which means “fat lake”, is Canada’s first surface and underground diamond mine. They are located in a pretty desolate area about 300km away from Yellowknife, which is part of the Northwest territory. Their annual production is estimated to be around 7.5mn carats. They are owned by the Dominion Diamond Corporation and estimates that their most profitable mine potentially has about 105.4mn carats in reserves of this mining location. To see what this important mine looks like, you can check out this video here which gives a tour of their operation.
5 | 6. Diavik Mine (Canada)
Near the North Slave region of the Northwest Territory in Canada is #9 on the list, the Diavik Mine. With an annual output of around 7mn carats, this mine is jointly owned by two corporations. 40% is owned by the Dominion Diamond Corporation, while 60% is owned by the Rio Tinto Group, which is responsible for actually operating the mine, with diamonds being only part of its operation. Rio Tinto also mines copper, iron ore and certain minerals. It has an estimate of 46mn diamonds in reserves to look forward to mining in the future.
4 | 7. Catoca, Angola
Angola, Africa hosts the fourth largest diamond mine by area in the world, the Catoca Mine. Located in the Lunda Sul Province of Angola, this mine is owned by a few different mining interests, but the Endiama Group, the state mining interest of Angola, holds the majority share. The group was established in 1981 and has the exclusive interest in the diamond mining industry of Angola. As of 2016, the mine produced about 6.5mn carats per year, with a reserve estimated at 130mn carats.
3 | 8 The International Mine (Russia)
operation since 1999. Owned by the Alrosa Group, the mine had an output of 3.9mn carats with a worth of $829mn last year. There are estimates that the reserves are dwindling, though, and by 2022 there might not be any more diamonds to mine there.
2 | 9. The Mir Mine (Russia)
Located in the Mirny, Sakha Republic, in the Siberian area of East Russia, this mine produces between about 2.2mn and 4mn carats per year since its operation started in 2009. For 2016, it was exactly 3.9mn carats. There are estimates that there are still 97.4mn carats of diamonds in reserve waiting to be uncovered. The Mir Mine is owned by the Alrosa Group, which is one of the largest diamond mining companies in the world. They have mines in many key regions around the globe including nine different countries and ten regions of Russia.
1 | 10. The Debmarine Mine (Namibia)
The Debmarine Mine is located in a very lucrative region of Namibia, off the coast in the Atlantic Ocean. This underwater mine produces over half of Namibia's diamonds using specialised marine mining sea vessels. Procuring precious stones from so far below the surface of the ocean is a complex operation. This mine produced around 1.7mn carats in 2016, but attained a comparatively high value compared to other mines on the list. Owned by the De Beers Group, this venture in the underwater mining of diamonds is the only one of its kind in the world right now.