Where are most of the diamonds mined
Diamond as an investment: Top 5 diamond producing countries
- Russia, Botswana, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Australia and Canada are the largest diamond producers in the world.
- Diamonds as an investment: BNT Diamonds provides information and advice
At first glance, the diamond industry appears to have a simple and short production chain. It all starts with mining, followed by trading in rough diamonds, making cut diamonds and selling them as an investment. The practice is less clear.
Some countries have mines. Others have the necessary know-how in processing diamonds, have financial instruments and high-tech developments, which then make these countries production centers, even if they do not have diamond mines within their borders. Other countries then have the mines and the manufacturing expertise.
In the northern hemisphere, Russia and Canada are the two major product islands for diamonds. In the southern hemisphere, these are Botswana, South Africa, Namibia and Australia.
In terms of volume, Russia is the world's largest producer and exporter of rough diamonds. In 2014, an estimated 38 million carats of diamonds were extracted from Russian mines. The main mine - with more than 90% of the annual diamond production in Russia - is Alrosa.
Diamonds of all sizes and colors are found in the Russian mines. Russian diamonds are known for their fluorescence and crystal shape with eight facets and sharp diamonds. Various Russian mines also produce bleached diamonds.
Botswana is the world market leader based on diamond value. In terms of volume, the country is in second place after Russia. Botswana is also home to De Beers and produces the majority of De Beers diamonds. The country has seven mines, of which Orapa and Jwaneng are the two most important. Both mines are operated by De Beers. Other players in this African country are Lucara and Kimberley Diamonds.
A wide variety of sizes and colors are also found in Botswana. The main part of the production is high quality and dodecahedron shape.
Democratic Republic of the Congo
The Democratic Republic of the Congo is the largest diamond producer in Africa. The country has a long history of mining diamonds and is the third largest producing country for diamonds on a volume basis.
Most of the production is informal and is not done by large mining companies. It is estimated that around 700,000 craftsmen work in this sector. The only commercial producer of diamonds is Miniere de Bakwange (MIBA), a joint venture between the Belgian company Sibeka and the Congolese government. De Beers has a 20% stake in Sibeka and sells about a third of the country's diamonds. To date there are only a small number of diamonds extracted, in a small area.
The MIBA produces a lower quality diamond than the other mines. Quality white diamonds are mined in other regions.
Australia is the world leader in colored diamonds. The country is famous for its yellow, pink, red and purple diamonds.
The largest diamond mine in Australia is the Argyle Mine, operated by Rio Tinto. Argyle is an extremely productive mine, producing over 12 million carats per year. It was an open mine until a few years ago, but it is now also being mined underground.
Argyle is the leading manufacturer of pink diamonds. The pink, red and purple diamonds are very popular all over the world.
In the 20th century Canada was nowhere listed as a diamond producer. Chuck Fipke and Stewart put the country on the map in 1991. Today Canada is one of the largest diamond producing countries in the world.
Canada has 4 active diamond mines: Diavik, Ekati, Snap Lake, and Victor. Ekati was the country's first active diamond mine. Diavik is operated by Rio Tino. The other two mines are operated by De Beers.
Most of the diamonds mined in Canada are colorless and of high quality.
The five countries mentioned above are responsible for nearly 76% of the world's diamond production on a volume basis. Based on the value, they represent more than 65% of world production.
BNT Diamonds advises potential investors on suitable investment diamonds.
Read more about diamonds as an investment:
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