Historically speaking, diamond mines have been known to pop up in a wide variety of places. Initially Brazil and India had a stranglehold on the diamond industry, but in more recent years, there have been large discoveries in Russia, Australia, Africa (which alone makes up 65% of the diamond market in the world today) and most recently, Canada. With each new diamond mine discovery comes a new, unique style of diamond that has it’s own idiosyncrasies and charms.
Australia is notable for it’s pink diamonds. In fact, the Argyle Diamond mine in Australia produces 95% of the worlds pink diamonds. Australian pink diamonds are by far the most brilliant and varied in tone of all the pink diamonds. Though the Argyle diamond mine is the only major source of pink diamonds in the world today, there is still only 1 pink diamond found for every 2.5 million tons of ore mined. The mine is predicted to be exhausted of its pink diamonds by the year 2018.
Canada was never known for its diamond deposits until 1991 when two geologists stumbled upon evidence suggesting that there were diamond bearing Kimberlite pipes near Yellowknife, Northwest Canada. By 1998, Canada was producing its own commercial diamonds thanks to this discovery. thousands of prospectors flooded into this region as a result. Canada is now producing over 13 million carats of gem diamonds every year and is the third largest producer of diamonds in the world.
Russia produces most of the commercially viable diamonds in the world today. There are a number of large mines, mostly located in Sakha Republic. Mirny mine is the second largest man made hole in the world today, but is now a defunct mine, though there are numerous super-pits throughout Russia still. ALROSA is the group of diamond mining companies that leads the world by diamond volume, mainly thanks to the recent discovery of trillions of carats of diamonds lying beneath a 35 million-year-old asteroid crater in Siberia, more than ten times the global stockpile. Apparently this discovery alone could supply the world market its diamonds for another 3,000 years.
South Africa has been a world leader in diamond production since 1868. There are 7 large diamond mines around the country which are all controlled by the De Beers Consolidated Mines Company. In 2003, De Beers operations accounted for 94% of the nation’s total diamond output. There are also notable diamond mines throughout the entire continent of Africa, in Botswana, Mozambique and Zambia to name but a few.