How diamonds are mined?

How diamonds are mined?

Diamond stands out among any other natural substances of unusual hardness, and at the same time quite rare. These and other unusual properties make such a mountain breed very popular worldwide. So it is important to know how they are removed in nature.


Paradoxical specificity of diamonds is that they are very hard, although consisting of carbon. The same carbon, only with another crystal lattice, forms graphite (the most soft of rocks). All diamonds that are produced are extremely tightly combined atoms. Exceptional strength does not interfere with the mineral to be fragile: with a sharp blow, the crystal splits. It is believed that the emergence of diamonds took place at a depth of dozens or hundreds of kilometers, hundreds of millions of years.

Most often to produce diamonds on an industrial scale, find kimberlite tubes. These geological entities are named in the city of Kimberly, which is in South Africa, where such type of deposits was found before. The formation of the mineral in earth depths occurs at very high temperatures and pressures. The final version of the origin of diamonds while science did not work out.

There are only the assumptions of varying degrees of reliability.

Geological structures in which diamonds are gradually destroyed by wind and water. Crushed stone, pebbles, gravel and other surrounding breeds move. There are only the assumptions of varying degrees of reliability. As a result, loose deposits are formed. Another type (but much more rare) is a particularly solid form of carbon, appearing in places of meteorites.

For jewelry, diamonds are applied with yellowish, brown-smoky and drone tonality.

In each of these cases, there is a number of shades, however, it is important to pay attention to the value of specific colors. Rare (and because they are valued) transparent blue, green and pink color. Even above the cost of colorless 100% stones.

And leading the price of those stones that have a thick bright tone and lined face.

At what depth are diamonds?

Regardless which version of those or other specialists are adhered to, all of them agree in one: important stages of stone formation take place at great depth. From there, together with magmatic streams, the substance comes upstairs. At a certain moment, explosive tubes actually appear. The depth of their occurrence does not exceed 1500 m.

Everyone is almost aware of the industrial mining of diamonds in Yakutia and South Africa. But it also leads:

  • In the Arkhangelsk region+
  • Western Australia+
  • Canada+
  • Congo+
  • Botswana.

    Extraction from the placerity is practically not conducted. They play only a small role in the global supply of diamond raw materials. Yes, and the stability of deliveries mined on the surface of products. Open method (career) is usually practiced when removing diamonds from a depth of 600 m and less. In deeper tubes, extract diamond raw materials can be predominantly using mines.


    The construction of mines are trying to postpone until the last moment. These are usually sites or in the eternal freezlot zone, or in particularly hot locations. Often at great depth in workings required to continuously pump underground water. Breed of quarries, and then from mines on large trucks transported in factory. There this raw material is cleaned with water.

    Modern careers have already achieved almost limit depths to which they can go. Experience showed that further complicates the case of a small width of the production and steepness. From the very beginning, it is planned to extract diamonds in an open way with a breakdown by stages. This reception makes it possible to easily track the change in the properties of breeds and the production in general. Accordingly, the choice of optimal methods and work schemes is facilitated.

    To properly select the side parameters at the very beginning of the development, you need to use exploration wells. Extracted from there Samples are subjected to physico-chemical tests by a special program. Additionally, experience is taken into account when working out similar quarries. Side contours are optimized when designing. They cannot be very hollow, otherwise the work is greatly complicated.

    For all intermediate contours, the properties of rocks are continuously specified taking into account the samples taken from each batch. Sometimes natural tests are practiced directly aboard the career. Special attention is paid to evaluating the degree of cracking of rocks. Additionally study how they behave on steep slopes. The angle of the actual side is laid in projects from 50 to 55 degrees.

    Previously, careful geological exploration is carried out. Find a suitable kimberlite tube or scatter, study it and justify the feasibility of mining is not easy.

    Typically, the process takes months, but sometimes stretched for several years. Special calculations are necessarily used. Only they allow you to conclude where there are solid deposits, and where random finds are made.

    Both careers and mines or mines are most often built in hard-to-reach places. Because there is a residential and production infrastructure around. A number of examples are known when the field became a city-forming facility for a rather major city. So how to trade raw materials in pure form is unprofitable, concentration factories are built. With them, diamonds separated from the finally from the empty breed are carrying on the bodies.

    The cut is also naturally trying to organize nearby. The deeper the departments, the more money will have to invest in their development and arrangement of the field.

    Rosyovy usually allow you to get more diamond raw materials than indigenous fields. But they have less. But to prepare for mining will be easier.

    Methods of production

    During a very long time, it was possible to receive diamonds and diamonds from India. But whatever rich mass there is neither the natural processes in their time, by the end of the XVII century these reserves were already largely exhausted. Productivity of production sharply fell. However, the development of technology made it possible to turn the situation. The situation has radically changed after the opening of the kimberlite tubes.

    To understand deeper how mining is happening, you need to return to the question of the appearance of diamonds in nature. The prevailing theory says that they are formed at depths of over 100 km, where very high temperatures and pressure develop. Top breed rises in the process of volcanic eruptions.

    Kimberlite tubes are present in almost every region of the world. However, over 98% of them are not suitable for industrial development.

    Find suitable objects and establish production on them only with significant costs. Already preparatory process of roads, complicated and long. It is believed that to extract every 2 karats of diamond raw materials. Over 1000 kg of rocks. Careers are created first by explosive work. Buryat sheets and put the explosives there, then lay in layers in the breed.

    The deepening of the workings is made until the mineral acquisition stops. Great problem represents the separation of valuable raw materials from ore. Applications are applied:

    • Fat installation work+
    • Search for the right crystals in X-ray rays+
    • Immersion of the breed in special suspensions.

    The fat method involves mixing the extracted rock with water, and then rash it on a fastened surface. Crystals are saved on fat. A more advanced technique – translucent x-ray rays. In most cases, a suspension method is applied. In a fluid having an increased density, the empty breed is drowning, while carbon pieces are on the surface.

    In the recent past, Brazil was performed in diamond producers, and then Australia. But Australian diamond deposits gradually exhaust themselves. In the sixth of the leading states includes Angola. However, in Canada, Botswana is extracted much more valuable gems.

    And the very first place in terms of production accurately belongs to our country.

    Both placeholds and the copy is rapidly developed. You have to systematically update the network of mines and quarries. The deeper the same careers, the less likely to find a significant amount of raw materials. Therefore, an increasing number of depth care more than a kilometer is closed due to unprofitability. The mining mine method is of greater complexity and danger, however, it is economically beneficial.

    The largest deposit of diamonds in our country – “Peace” in Yakutia. Development is carried out from the late 1950s. Starting from 1957 and 2001. There was a career method extracted by $ 17 billion (at current prices). To ensure such a result, I had to crush, raise and remove about 350 million cubic meters. M. Empty breed. By the end of the 1990s, the amount of production reached such sizes that the dump trucks from the production point before the warehouse had to pass 8 km. In 2001, due to excessive difficulty, the quarry had to be installed.

    And in 2009, the use of the “Peace” began. Water circulating underground is not simply pumping out – it is redirected to pipes into special faults discovered by geologists nearby. In 2013, the deposit gave another 2 million carat of excellent technical quality diamonds. The company operates 7 days a week, the duration of the miner shift – 7 hours.

    The combines used on the mine are equipped with rages with milling crowns. Teeth, although they are made of hardened metal, are exposed to very strong wear. Therefore, each proceeding change shows the work part of the tools. In case of need, it is replaced immediately. The fragmented breed is moved to the exit of the mine with conveyor belts.

    In a number of diamond mines, the development specifically leaves individual bottom parts. Their thickness can reach several tens of meters. If these structures were developed, it would be almost impossible to avoid flooding of deposits. Additionally, the layers of waterproof materials are used to protect. Moving rocks on mines and in careers is performed using colossal trucks (with a capacity of more than 100 tons).

    In the past, the situation was completely different. Until the XIX century, no mechanical devices were used. “Queen” diamond producers performed an ordinary mountain shovel or Kirk. Sometimes simply rowing river sand and manually passed it through a sieve. But such methods have long lost expediency.

    They are technically irrational and economically disadvantageous.

    And among two ways – career and mine – the second option is more attractive. Much attention in the daily work of diamond miners is given to safety rules. No one underground is missing without a helmet with a built-in flashlight and without an autonomous breathing apparatus. It is strictly forbidden to leave it further than 3 m from myself. Must be equipped with ventilation, thanks to which it is easy to breathe underground easily.

    Russian enterprises in diamond mining (especially located in Yakutia) – perhaps the most high-tech in the world. There used transport, designed for very harsh frosts. Very rigid temperature requirements are also imposed to other equipment. It is believed that to put into operation a new field from scratch can be in 3 or 4 billion dollars. Whether the cost of primary geological search is included in this amount – no company reports.

    But later, when the quarry or mine is ready, use them and develop the production will be much cheaper. The greatest difficulty in the underground method represents the maintenance of the optimal work environment. Main trunks for breed lifting can be used in accidents. In different places of mines prepare recreational niches.

    There is no doubt that diamond mining will develop and improve.

    On how diamonds in Russia are produced, see the following FIDEO:

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