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Active Famous Diamond Mines

Currently there are eleven major 'diamond producing' nations, and a host of other counties with operational and/or historic alluvial, open pit, and hard rock diamond mines. There are also several African nations with ongoing off-shore dredging/vacuming operations.

These lists also contains new project explorations, mining operator info, mining industry inside news, links to satellite images of the mines (where available), and any relevant geographic data.

Active Mines | Inactive Mines | Future Exploration | Mining Companies

Africa

Angola

Catoca Diamond Mine: Fourth largest diamond mine in world. Kimberlite pipe. map

Fucauma Diamond Mine: Newly constructed. Owned by Endiama (40%) & Trans Hex (35%).

Luarica Diamond Mine: Owned by Endiama (38%) & Trans Hex (32%).

Luzamba Diamond Mine: Angola's largest alluvial mine, Endiama (50%), Odebrecht (50%). map

Botswana

Damtshaa Diamond Mine: (water for a tortoise) New open pit mine. De Beers / Botswana. map

Jwaneng Diamond Mine: (place of small stones) richest mine in world. De Beers/Botswana. map

Letlhakane Diamond Mine: ("little reeds") second oldest of four - De Beers / Botswana. map

Orapa Diamond Mine: (resting place for lions) Largest/oldest of four - DeBeers/Botswana. map

Congo (DROC or RDC)

Bakwanga Mine: (aka Bushimaïe, Lubilash) Alluvial river mines in Kasaï. MIBA. map

Forminière Diamond Mine: Alluvial mine located on the River Tshikapa, in Kasaï - closed. map

Lesotho

Letseng Diamond Mine: Open-cast mine in Maluti Mountains 70 km from Mokhotlong. map

Namibia

Elizabeth Bay Mine: Open-cast mine in Namib desert, south of Lüderitz. Namdeb. map

Orange River (Daberas) Mines: Orange River alluvium. Namdeb Namib Gov. map

Marine Mining: Namco Mining operates a dredging fleet off the west coast of Namibia. map

Sierra Leone

Magna Egoli Mine: Largest mechanized mine in Sierra Leone. Waldman Resources, Israel. map

Koidu-Sefadu Mines: Subsistence digging in alluvium pits west of Koidu. map

Koidu Open Pit Mines: Kimberlite open-pit mines just south of Koidu. map

South Africa

Baken Diamond Mine: Located along Orange River in North Cape, So Africa. Trans Hex. map

Cullinan Diamond Mine: Open Pit/Hard Rock diamond mine owned by De Beers. map

Finsch Diamond Mine: Finsch is an open-pit mine near Lime Acres, De Beers operated. map

Kimberley Diamond Mine: Started in 1871, the Kimberley Open Pits closed in 2005. map

Koffiefontein Diamond Mine: The Koffiefontein mine opened in 1870. Closed in 2006. map

The Oaks Diamond Mine: In Limpopo province. Open-pit mine De Beers operated. map

Venetia Diamond Mine: Limpopo, produces over 40% of world's gem-quality diamonds. map

Tanzania

Williamson Diamond Mine: (aka Mwadui mine) Open Pit mine. 75% De Beers ownership map

Zimbabwe

Murowa Diamond Mine: Open Pit & Underground mine. 75% De Beers ownership. map

River Ranch Diamond Mine: Open Pit & Underground mine. 75% De Beers ownership. map

Australia

East Kimberley

Argyle Diamond Mine: Largest producer in world, mostly industrial grade. Rio Tinto. map

Borneo

Cempaka/Riam Kanan, South Kalimantan

Cempaka Diamond Mines: Alluvials mined by indigenous artisanal Kalimantan miners. map

Canada

North West Territories (NWT)

Diavik Diamond Mine: The Diavik diamond mine is located in the NWT. map

Ekati Diamond Mine: Canada's first diamond mining operation, located in NWT. map

India

Madhya Pradesh

Panna Diamond Mine: Alluvial mine in state of Madhya Pradesh. map

Russia

Siberia

Aikhal GOK Mine: Three open-pit kimberlite pipe mines: Aikhal, Jubilee, and Sytykan. map

Anabar GOK Mine: The norther most location of Russia's diomond mines. map

Jubilee (Yubileinaya) Mine: Newer open-pit kimberlite mine near Udachny. Alrosa.

Mirna Mine: Largest diamond deposit in Russia and one of the largest in the world. map

Udachnaya (Udachny) Pipe Mine: One of the deepest diamond mines in the world. map

De Beers

The De Beers group is an internationally based diamond mining and trading company that has controlled the flow of diamonds in the US market place for decades. Perhaps a more appropriate title would be cartel, as De Beers was formed as a group of producers whose goal it was to fix prices, control supply and limit competition, and this is exactly what De Beers has done historically with the trade of diamonds.

The name "De Beers" originated with two Afrikaner farmers, Diederik Arnoldus De Beers and Johannes Nicholas de Beers. The De Beers brothers discovered diamonds on their farm and unable to deal with the stress of protecting the farm from the influx of diamond seekers, they sold the land and the mines. The land was home to two large mines were involved in the transaction: Premier and Kimberly.

Huge battles raged through the next few years as two entities emerged on top of the competition to acquire the land. These entities were the Barnato Mining Company formed by Barney Barnato and prospective investors, Cecil Rhodes and Charles Rudd. While De Beers had already acquired Premier, they wanted Kimberly as well. The buying began, each company ferociously buying up stock in "Kimberly Central." Eventually Rhodes and Rudd won out and forced Barnato to agree to a merger with De Beers.

De Beers Consolidated Mines Limited was thus formed in 1888. As a group, they owned all of Premier, most of Kimberly, and several other mines. The company was granted an official listing on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange in August 1893 (DeBeers.com).

Over a decade later, the De Beers cartel formed, made up of the newly named Barnato Brothers, Anglo American, and JCI. Anglo American and the Barnato Brothers owned most of the stock, about 90% combined. Through Anglo American, De beers began to acquire a large number of other mines, including the Consolidated Diamond Mines. Some of the largest during their time, acquiring the CDM was a huge coup for the De Beers Group.

In the 1930's, Sir Ernest Oppenheimer, the chairman of De Beers Group and leader of Anglo American, came up with the idea of "single channel marketing" which he defined as "a producers' co-operative including the major outside, or non-De Beers producers in accordance with the belief that only by limiting the quantity of diamonds put on the market, in accordance with the demand, and by selling through one channel, can the stability of the diamond trade be maintained."

This new single channel marketing structure eventually came to be known as the Central Selling Organisation (CSO) (DeBeers.com) Basically, Oppenheimer formed a cartel on the premise that he was operating a legitimate enterprise. He stomped out all competition and kept a stranglehold on the supply of diamonds, upping their value and rarity through a limited supply that De Beers doled out carefully. It is safe to say that during this time De Beers Group owned and controlled about 90% of diamond production in the world; thus they could control the "rarity" and value and keep a hold on the lucrative industry. Many of their dealings were shady, and they were known for particular ruthlessness against their competitors.

De Beers Group operated out of London and sold diamonds in the United States through supplying numerous smaller businesses in the States with the coveted gems. Because of anti-trust laws forbidding, among other prohibitions, the formation of cartels, De Beers could not set up shop in the US.

The diamond market came crashing down with the advent of the depression in the 1930's, and De Beers shut major mines like the Kimberly, Premier, and Consolidated Diamond Mines. They kept up the production of non-De Beers companies' mines to keep a hold on the market and waited for events to even out. But conditions for De Beers continued to worsen with the advent of World War Two, when they were forced to shut down almost completely.

They were revived again in the forties with the help of Oppenheimer's son Harry, who took over the helm of De Beers from his father. He visited the US in 1939 with the hope of finding a marketing firm that would agree to direct a pilot marketing campaign. He met N.W. Ayer and engaged the agency to begin a marketing campaign. They came up with a campaign targeting the emotional value of a diamond. Frances Gerety, a young copywriter for N.W. Ayer, coined the famous slogan "A Diamond is Forever."

The goal behind the marketing campaign was to ensure that women kept their diamonds literally forever. The goal was to prevent a secondary market for diamonds by persuading women that diamonds should be untouched by another woman to really have any menaing. This allowed De Beers to maintain control of the diamond trade at wholesale level andretailers to sell diamonds at a high price without competition from secondary markets. They touted engagement and wedding rings, anniversary necklaces, and anything of value that a woman could want. It was this marketing campaign that made diamond wedding and engagement rings so popular, and pushed diamonds to become the number one coveted gem by women.

In fact his campaign was so successful, it worked on an international level and brought countries like Japan into De Beers' sphere. By the late 90's, Japan produced 33% of the worlds diamond commodities (www.wikipedia.com).

De Beers flourished and grew over the years, establishing itself as an international diamond cartel that was highly successful, ruthless against its competitors, and king in the world of diamonds. With a wealth of diamonds at its fingertips, the possibilities were endless.

In the early 1980's De Beers hit another snag as sales dropped and they were once again losing money. But by the late eighties and early nineties they were back on their feet and expanding into other parts of the world such as South America and Asia, into the oceans with the formation of an underwater mining company, Debeers Marine Limited, and throughout Europe.

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