Top 10 Diamond Mining Companies for 2012

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1. Russia: Mirna Mine

Mirna Mine is the largest diamond deposit in Russia and one of the largest in the world. The mine is one of the most impressive places on earth and it is located near a small town known as Mirna, in Eastern Siberia. It was the first and the largest diamond mine in the Soviet Union. The mine is 525 meters deep, has a diameter of 1,200 meters and is the second largest excavated hole in the world. In the 1960s the mine was producing 2,000 kg of diamonds per year, but the production rate slowed to 400 kg per year near the pit bottom. The largest diamond found in the mine was found in 1980 and weighed 342.5 carats.

2. Australia: Argyle Diamond Mine

Argyle Diamond Mine is the largest producer in world, mostly industrial grade. Over 791 million carats of diamonds have been produced at the mine since it began production in 1983. From 2013, operations in the open pit will begin to wind down as Argyle transitions to a fully operational underground mine. At full production the underground mine will generate around nine million tons of ore per annum and approximately 20 million carats of diamonds per year, over the life of the block cave.

3. Botswana: Jwaneng Diamond Mine

Jwaneng Diamond Mine produces small stonesand and is the largest producer of diamonds by value in the world, producing about 40% of the world’s diamonds. The diamond industry contributes about 30% of national revenues, 80% of export earnings and 50% of government revenues of Botswana. The mine produces 9.3 million tons of ore per year. Currently, Jwaneng produces approximately 11 million carats (2,200 kg) of diamonds.

4. Angola: Catoca Diamond Mine

The Catoca Mine is the world’s 4th largest diamond mine and is currently being operated by SMC (Sociedade Miniera de Catoca), which is in turn owned by Endiama (32.8%), Russia’s Alrosa (32.8%), Brazil’s Odebrecht Mining (16.4%) and the Diamond Finance CY BV Group (18%). The mine produced just over 2.6 Mct in 2001. The kimberlite yields quality diamonds, of which 35% is gem quality, fetching prices of around $75 – $100/carat. Reserves are estimated at 60 million carats. SMC intends increasing production to as much as 5 Mct per year.

5. Angola: Luarica Diamond Mine

The mine is owned by a joint of diamond mining companies. The two largest holders are Endiama with 38% ownership and Trans Hex with 32% ownership. In 2004, the Luarica mine produced about 95,000 carats (19 kg) of diamond from over 632,000 cubic meters of ore processed. 84,000 carats (16.8 kg) of the production was sold the same year, at an average price of over $300 per carat. That made a new high mark for Angolan diamond output.

6. Botswana: Letlhakane Diamond Mine

The Letlhakane diamond mine is owned by Debswana – a joint diamond mining venture between De Beers and the government of Botswana. In 2010 about 3.3 million tons of ore were extracted at Letlhakane. Volume yielding was 1.2 million carats of rough diamonds.

7. Botswana: Orapa Diamond Mine

Orapa Diamond Mine is huge and highly productive. Diamonds are produced when volcanic activity causes carbon to be forced at extremes of pressure and temperature through a vent towards the surface. The pipe at Orapa is the second largest in the world. Annually the mine produces about 17m tons of ore from which 18m carats of diamonds are recovered, with a revenue of $3 billion.

8. Congo: Bakwanga MIBA Mine

Societé minière de Bakwanga (MIBA) is a mining company based in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. MIBA is a diamond mining company, and its operations are centered near Mbuji Mayi, in Kasai-Oriental Province in south central DRC. Between 2002 and 2006, MIBA produced an average of 6 million carats of diamonds per year. Operational difficulties reduced this production to an annual output of less than 1 million carats over the last two years. MIBA also has mining and exploration titles covering an area in excess of 45,000 km² and is currently looking for joint ventures with major diamond producers.

9. Sierra Leone: Magna Egoli Mine

Magna Egoli is Sierra Leone’s largest mechanized mine. It is fully owned by Waldman Diamond Resources of Israel. Magna Egoli started operations in 2001. The annual production worth $25 million has average weight of 0.57 carat and average value of $220 per carat, which is considered very high value for diamond rough. It produces 400 carats of diamonds per day.

10. South Africa: Cullinan Diamond Mine

Cullinan Diamond Mine is an underground diamond mine owned by Petra Diamonds. The mine became famous in 1905. That year the largest rough diamond of gem quality ever found known as Cullinan Diamond was found there. Cullinan Diamond Mine is also the only significant source of blue diamonds in the world. In September 2009, a 507-carat (101 g) diamond was found. The gem was ranked as one of the 20 biggest high quality diamonds ever discovered.

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