Submitted by: Lawrence J. Reaves
The discovery of diamonds in 1867 in the Cape Colony of South Africa had a profound effect on the world s supply of diamonds. For the ten years following the discovery a once extremely rare material became more accessible to Western society. Scientists learned that diamonds came from volcanoes. South Africa still maintains its position as the major diamond producer but there are other famous mines located in other areas.
In North America the oldest and most famous diamond mine is the Crater of Diamonds. It is located in Murfreesboro, Arkansas. In 1906, John Wesley Huddleston bought the land for farming purposes and noticed two small stones in the bottom of a bucket of feed. He sent the stones to a Little Rock Jeweler who then sent them to Tiffany s in New York. They were certified as gem quality. John then sold the property to some people in Little Rock for $36,000.
De Beers Consolidated Mines are located in several African countries. The company was founded in 1888 and today it is comprised of rough diamond exploration, mining and trading companies. The De Beers companies make up about 40% of the world s diamond production.
The Kimberley Diamond Mines are known worldwide and are located in the town of Kimberley, South Africa. In 1866 Erasmus Jacobs discovered a small stone by the Orange River. It turned out that is stone was a 21.25 carat diamond. In 1871 a 83.5 carat diamond was found on the slopes of Colesberg Kopje and this led to the first diamond rush in the area.
The Williamson Diamond Mine, which is also known as the Mwadui Mine is located in Tanzania. It was the first significant diamond mine outside of South Africa. Dr John Williamson, a Canadian geologist established the mine in 1940. It is an operating pit mine and mainly produces diamond carats.
The Premier Diamond Mine located in Transvaal, South Africa is one of the most famous mines and is known throughout the world. This mine was found to be a huge volcanic chimney of diamondiferous earth. It covers about 80 acres and is shaped like a pear. It is situated on a level plateau at an elevation of about two hundred feet.
The Ekati Diamond Mine is Canada s first diamond mine. It is located near Lac de Gras and is about 200km south of the Arctic Circle. It is a joint venture between BHP Billiton Diamonds and the two geologists who discovered the kimberlite pipes in that area. It is only accessible by air except for 10 weeks each year when it can be reached by icy roads.
The Kollur Diamond Mine is located in Guntur District Golkonda, India. It is one of the most productive mines in India and was the first major diamond center. It was operated between the sixteenth and mid nineteenth centuries. The Indian mines were eventually depleted and the diamond center shifted to Brazil where new diamond pipes were discovered.
These are just a few of the more famous diamond mines known today. Diamonds have a very interesting history and also a very bright future.
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