For ages, the diamond has been the world’s most valuable gemstone, a symbol of romance, and a sign of jewelry. While it may promise to remain “forever,” the fact is that it fascinates everyone who sees it, even if only to enjoy its sparkling splendor.
It wouldn’t be such a valuable gemstone if the production procedure was quick, on the contrary, it is both long and laborious. In addition, the diamond business is a fiercely competitive one. This raises the question: Which region specializes in diamonds?
The regions where diamonds are discovered and mined are known as producing countries. There are two major diamond-producing bands on Earth, the northern and southern ones. The third center ring also features diamonds, but the amount and value are smaller.
Keep on reading to discover top diamond-producing countries!
The World’s Top 5 Diamond Producers
As we stated, the world may be divided into 3 zones: the northern zone, the center zone, and the southern zone.
Diamond-producing nations in the northern hemisphere include Canada and Russia, whereas those in the southern hemisphere include Botswana, South Africa, Namibia, and, eventually, Australia. The center zone includes other nations where these gemstones are scarcer and of lesser value. In this situation, we would include Sierra Leone, Venezuela, Brazil, and other regions in Central Africa.
However, we must not neglect the Democratic Republic of the Congo, which is the third-largest diamond producer in the world. The problem is that there is a scarcity of official statistics, which is understandable considering the fact that the majority of diamonds are harvested and sold.
Russian Federation is followed by Botswana, the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), Australia, and Canada as the top five diamond-producing nations in terms of production volume.
A total of over 40 million carats are extracted from Russia each year, making it the uncontested leader in diamond production. Most of the world’s deposits are concentrated in Yakutia, where three of the world’s largest mines, the Yubileiny, Udachny, and Mir, are situated.
The discovery of diamonds in Russia goes all the way back to the beginning of the 20th century, but it was not until after World War II that the Soviet government began the exploitation of the resource to ensure independence from De Beers.
De Beers is a corporation that used to dominate production in order to drive the market price up, and it was even in control of the world diamond trade until quite recently.
Nowadays, ALROSA is a state-owned company that is a top supplier of gem-quality diamonds in Russia. Its 2014 diamond production was 36.2-million carats. The Russian Republic of Yakutia, in Russia’s Siberian region, is home to the vast majority of Russia’s existing mining resources and activity, including those of ALROSA.
In the Yakutia region, ALROSA runs four underground mines, five open-pit mines, and fourteen alluvial placers. The Lomonosov deposit and two more open-pit mines are located in the Arkhangelsk area of western Russia.
Lukoil has begun operations at the Grib diamond mine, which is likewise located in the Arkhangelsk area. When production ramps up to its maximum potential, it will be able to generate 4 million carats per year, up from the present 1 million.
There are 973 million carats of overall diamond resources in Russia, according to the most recent estimations. About 608 million carats of this total are believed to be in a reserve.
Russian diamond resources are capable of producing a complete spectrum of diamonds in a variety of sizes, hues, and clarity. In addition to their fluorescence, they are also famous for their fluorescence, which is generally less desired in gem-quality diamonds.
Another typical aspect of Russian gems is that they are frequently made of crystal, which has 8 facets and sharp edges. Various Russian mines also provide fancy yellow diamonds, which are also very valuable.
When it comes to value, it’s hard to beat this African country’s production of precious stones. But, that’s not all! Botswana is the leading diamond producer when it comes to value as well!
This nation is host to 7 well-established mines, like Jwaneng, which is the world’s wealthiest mine in respect of value, Orapa, which is the world’s largest mine regarding the area, and Karowe, and Letlhakane, among others.
The Debswana Diamond Mining Company, a joint venture between the state of Botswana and De Beers, owns the Jwaneng diamond mine. Approximately one-quarter of Botswana’s gross domestic product (GDP) is derived from diamonds, which represent the majority of all exports.
De Beers has complete control over the sales of all raw diamonds mined in Debswana, thanks to its diamond grading and sales facility which is the world’s largest in terms of space located in Gaborone, Botswana’s capital.
It was just years after gaining independence from the United Kingdom in 1967 that Botswana began diamond mining and in 2015 the world’s biggest diamond was found at the Karowe mine, measuring 1,758 carats.
Diamonds of diverse shapes, sizes, hues, and clarities may be found in Botswana’s mines. There is a large supply of gem-quality, well-shaped dodecahedral gems from Botswana, frequently with a greenish covering and medium to high colorations.
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The Democratic Republic Of The Congo (DRC)
The Democratic Republic of the Congo, originally known as Zaire, is situated in central Africa and was conquered by Belgium, which was keen to get access to the region’s huge mineral resources.
Following independence, the nation was wrecked by the “African World War,” which was partly sponsored by “blood diamonds” mercilessly extracted from the region’s rivers and river valleys.
Despite the fact that the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) is Africa’s greatest diamond miner, production specifics are scarce. Even though diamond output has decreased significantly in recent years, Congo remains the third-largest diamond producer in the world with its long history as a diamond mining country.
The informal sector, rather than mining firms, is responsible for the majority of the DRC’s output. Around 700,000 artisanal diamond miners are thought to work in the country’s alluvial diamond mines.
Miniere de Bakwange (MIBA), a partnership between Belgian business Sibeka and the DRC government, is the state’s sole commercial diamond producer. De Beers owns 20% of Sibeka and sells almost a third of the diamonds mined there.
The DCR has tremendous potential in terms of developing new diamond industries. In the country’s history, only a little amount of diamond mining has been carried out and only a considerably tiny region has been investigated using contemporary equipment.
MIBA exports are mostly composed of diamonds of poor color and quality, although other parts of the nation are producing white gems of superior grade.
As a key producer of colored diamonds, Australia has a significant impact on the diamond industry. Pink, purple, and red gems are especially famous in Australia, but the country also produces some of the greatest yellow diamonds in the world. However, the majority of the country’s output consists mostly of diamonds of low color and clarity.
Rio Tinto owns and operates Australia’s biggest diamond mine, Argyle. Argyle is second only to Orapa in Botswana in terms of annual carat production with output exceeding 12 million.
A former open-pit mine, Argyle has lately been transformed into an underground pit. In addition to Argyle, Australia has two other mines now ramping up production: Ellendale and Merlin. Argyle is the leading producer of pink and brown diamonds. The mine’s production was the first source of diamonds for India’s embryonic industry at the time of its construction.
Argyle’s red, pink, and purple diamonds are of the highest quality and are highly sought-after. Near-jewel and industrial-grade goods are produced in Argyle, but only 5% of its output is considered to be gem-quality.
Diamonds of exceptional color and clarity are the primary product of Kimberley Diamonds’ Ellendale mine. Merlin Diamond Mine is known for its huge, high clarity, white, and high-value diamonds, in fact, Australia’s biggest diamond, a 104.73 carat stone, was found at Merlin.
Throughout the twentieth century, the majority of people would have never imagined that Canada was a significant diamond-producing country. A group of visionaries with a firm belief in their skills managed to establish Canada as a rough diamond-producing country.
In 1991 Chuck Fipke and Stewart Flor discovered diamond-bearing kimberlite pipes roughly 200 miles north of Yellowknife in the Northwest Territories. And today, Canada is one of the world’s leading producers of diamonds.
Diavik, Ekati, Snap Lake, and Victor are the names of four diamond mines that are currently in operation in Canada. Ekati was the country’s first active diamond mine and is still in operation today. Dominion Diamonds owns and operates this large resource, which offers a wide variety of products to customers.
Rio Tinto’s affiliate operates Diavik, Canada’s 2nd biggest mine, on behalf of Rio Tinto and Dominion. De Beers owns the other two. Jericho, another diamond mine, was operational for a brief time. However, it was found to be unprofitable and was shut down.
With the production of 10.6 million carats at an estimated value of $1.9 billion, Canada ranked fifth in the world’s diamond production in 2013.
Crystals, coated diamonds, and cubic forms are the characteristics of Canadian manufacturing. The polishing method is well-known for enhancing the brown hue of some Canadian diamonds. The majority of the produce, on the other hand, is typically medium to tall white.
Countries With Smaller Diamond-Production
In 2013, the top five diamond-producing countries listed above accounted for about 76% of global diamond output. In terms of volume, they are by far the most significant sources of gems. They make up more than two-thirds of the $14 billion worth of worldwide output in terms of revenue.
Some of the world’s lesser-known diamond-producing countries and their output are discussed in this section:
It is considered that South Africa produces the most beautiful stones on the planet, with its output consisting mostly of perfectly round dodecahedral diamonds of exceptional quality and white hue. It distinguishes itself from the competition by also offering diamonds in pink and blue hues.
Diamond reserves in South Africa are the most diversified in the world. Underground kimberlite pipe/fissure/dam mining as well as alluvial mining and offshore/marine mining are various types of deposits that can be found.
De Beers owns the diamond mines in South Africa. Petra Diamonds purchased mines previously owned by De Beers, Trans Hex, and Diamondcorp. Diamond output in South Africa in 2013 was around 8.1 million carats, worth $1.19 billion according to the report of the Kimberley Process.
Located in southern Africa, Angola was also a victim of colonialism like its neighboring countries.
Following the independence, Angola was engulfed in a terrible civil war that left the nation devastated, but it experienced steady economic growth throughout the 1990s largely thanks to the country’s abundant mineral riches, which include diamonds.
It is believed that just 40% of the diamond-rich region has been examined, implying substantial deposits of this material worth 180 million carats.
Catoca is Angola’s largest and most important diamond mine. As the fourth biggest kimberlite deposit and one of the world’s major diamond mines, it produces more than 7 million carats of gem-quality diamonds every year.
The majority of the diamonds produced in Angola are yellowish or medium-colored round dodecahedral, although there are also a disproportionate number of bigger stones.
Other Diamond-Producing Countries
Due to their central band location, diamonds discovered in CAR, Ivory Coast, Brazil, and British Guinea share the same features. They are normally brown in hue, with a greenish skin tone and a circular dodecahedral form.
The features of diamonds discovered in Sierra Leone and Venezuela, both of which are located at comparable latitudes, are likewise similar. They have a square form and may be coated with green.
In terms of color, the square gems from Sierra Leone are chosen above those from Venezuela. Sierra Leone is also noted for its high-quality green-coated diamonds. Fancy diamonds in blue, pink and other hues are very common in Brazil.
It is estimated that the 10 counties account for 99 % of the world’s diamond output in volume as well as more than 97 percent by value.
Related Read: What Are Negative Effects Of Diamond Mining?
So, “which region specializes in diamonds?” is a tough topic, however, we can confirm that Africa is home to some of the leading diamond-producing countries, like Botswana which is the second-largest diamond producer in terms of value.
Yet, we should not forget that when it comes to carat weight and gem-quality diamond output, Russia takes the top spot. Also, the diamond business pits other major rivals like Canada, Australia, Angola, and South Africa against one another.
In the diamond industry, everything is fast-paced and constantly changing, from the market’s fluctuating price to the unique natural resources of each mine to the discovery of new mines on a relatively regular basis.
The diamond business will thrive as long as diamonds are mined and the economy prospers. However, you can never tell where or when a new player in the business may appear.
Related Read: The Diamond Industry: How Does Diamond Business Work?