Known as one of the most precious and famous gems in the world, diamond is without a doubt the object of desire of anyone who loves jewellery. Although, before becoming a beautiful piece of jewellery, it must go through a long process from its extraction, rough marketing, carving and finally retail. Join us to discover which are the largest diamond producers in the world, according to the “NS Energy” website.
1- Russia: Possessor of the largest diamond deposits in the world, this country leads the ranking of the largest diamond producers in the world, thanks to its more than 12 open-cast mines. For which, it is also the main exporter of rough diamonds by volume, with approximately 40 million carats per year.
Despite the knowledge of the existence of diamonds in Russia, the exploitation would not begin until after World War II, since the Soviet government wanted to guarantee the independence of this important mineral, since, at that time, the diamond trade was controlled by the De Beers company, which monopolized production to control prices in the market.
Currently, the majority of mining operations are concentrated in the Siberian region of Yakutia, where the three largest mines in the world are located, including the Mir mine, which is the largest mine in the world with a depth of 525 meters and a diameter of 1,200 meters; and it is the third among the ten main diamond deposits in the world. Being the state company ALROSA that has control of 90% of the country’s production.
According to the latest estimates, Russia would have reserves in the order of 973 million carats, of which 608 million are known reserves.
2- Botswana: This African country is the first producer of diamonds in terms of value and the second in terms of volume. Diamond mining began in 1971 and the highest performing mines were discovered in the 1980s, currently having seven first-class mines, among them, the main ones are Orapa and Jwaneng, the latter produces an average of 10 million carats at year.
Botswana’s diamonds are larger and of better quality than those mined in Russia and make up 25% of its GDP. To give us an idea of their level of production and quality of their diamonds, only 23.2 million carats were mined in 2013 alone and the second largest diamond in the world, dubbed Sewelô, was recently mined from the Karowe mine. 1,758 carats found by the Canadian company Lucara Diamond Corp. Although, it is nothing compared to the 90 million carats of reserves that it is estimated to have under its soil, according to data from the StatInvestor website for 2017.
The main diamond mining company is DEBSWANA DIAMOND COMPANY, a joint venture formed by the South African company De Beers and the government of Botswana.
3- Democratic Republic of the Congo: Despite a sharp decline in recent years, this country has remained third among the world’s largest diamond producers in volume. On the other hand, it should be mentioned that it is the African country that has the largest diamond reserves, according to StatInvestor approximately 150 million carats, although the 12 million carats that are extracted annually from its soil are mostly using artisan techniques and not by large mining companies.
According to estimates, 600,000 miners exploit small alluvial mines in an artisanal way, while the only commercial diamond producer is Miniere de Bakwange (MIBA), a joint venture between the government of the Democratic Republic of the Congo and the Belgian company Sibeka, in of which De Beers has a 20% stake.
4- Australia: Known as the leading producer of coloured diamonds, this country is famous for its high-quality purple, pink and red diamonds, as well as some of the best yellow diamonds in the world, although only 5% of the diamonds that are mined have gem quality.
Australia started diamond mining in 1981 and most of the diamonds mined in its soil come from the Argyle deposit, a mine located in the west of the country and which is the largest in Australia. From it, approximately 12 million carats are extracted per year. However, its reserves are estimated to be 120 million carats according to StatInvestor.
Canada: Diamond mining in Canada started in 1998 and currently has four active mines: Diavik, Snap Lake, Victor and Ekati, the latter being the first in operation and the largest in the country. Although there are currently other mines in development stages such as Stornoway Diamonds and GahchoKué.
Their diamonds are very popular with buyers as they are considered “Conflict Free”, that is, they do not finance mafia structures or civil conflicts and comply with environmental regulations. On the other hand, its diamond production in 2013 was 10.6 million carats and increased to 23 million in 2018. However, difficult weather conditions, remote locations of deposits and mineral depletion have forced the closure of some mines.
An interesting fact is that in October 2018 the largest diamond in North America was found in the Diavik mine, located in the northeast territories of Canada. This is a 552 carat gem quality yellow diamond, discovered by Dominion Diamon Mines.
These five countries represent the largest diamond producers in the world and in 2013 they represented almost 76% of world production. However, there are countries that also contribute to the world diamond market such as Zimbabwe, Angola, South Africa, Lesotho, Namibia, Ivory Coast, Brazil, British Guinea, Sierra Leone and Venezuela; which together produce 99% of the world’s diamonds.