Diamonds are found naturally in Kimberlite rocks or alluvial deposits. Kimberlite rocks are rocks occurring in old volcanic pipes and they are the main hosts. These rocks are carried by rivers, streams and waterfalls and diamond crystals are deposited in the water hence the pacer or alluvial deposits.
Where are diamonds found in the world?
Diamonds are present in about 35 countries. South Africa, Russia and Botswana are the main producers of gem diamond while Australia produces most of the industrial diamond. They are also found in India, Russia, Siberia, Brazil, China, Canada and the United States.
Where are diamonds found in Africa?
In Africa, diamonds are found in Angola, Botswana, Democratic Republic of Congo, Namibia, Sierra Leone, South Africa and Tanzania. This is a mineral rich continent but diamonds from some of these countries are referred to as conflict diamonds since the money is used to fund civil wars and other human rights violations. Sierra Leone and Angola are notorious for this.
This trade was brought to light in Leonardo di Caprio’s movie “Blood Diamond” and it is now common knowledge all over the world. The Kimberley Process has reduced this vice significantly but not completely due to forging of laser inscriptions and certificates.
Sources of Diamonds in the United States
Diamonds are found in three states: Arkansas, Colorado and Wyoming. They occur at the Colorado-Wyoming state line area which was named the Aultman, Ferris and Schaffer Kimberlites. There was also commercial mining of diamond in Kelsey Lake but it was closed in 1998 although there are plans to reopen it.
Arkansas is the home of the Crater of Diamonds State Park. This is the only mine which is publicly owned and visitors can look for diamond and keep what they get. It is owned by the state of Arkansas. It is a great mine and has produced over 70,000 diamonds.
The Herkimer and Ace of Diamonds mines in New York were thought to have diamond but they only have faceted quartz crystals which are pointed on both ends.
Diamond mining began in Canada at the time when African diamonds were rocked with corruption-Conflict diamonds. This country is the third largest diamond producer in the world. The EKATI diamond mine found in the North of Yellowknife produces an average of 4-5 million carats per annum. This was the first mine in Canada.
The Diavik diamond mine produces an average of 7-8 million carats per annum. It was the second to be discovered and is located at Lac de Gras East Island, Yellowknife. The mine is only 20km from the EKATI mine. It leads the world in environmental standards and produces high quality colorless diamonds.
There is also the Snap Lake diamond mine that produces an average of about 1.5 to 2 million carats per annum. It is also found in Yellowknife. The last diamond mine is Jericho mine which produces about 500,000 carats per annum.
Canadian diamonds are normally preferred since they have less corruption claims than many other countries. The source of diamonds is a very important consideration since no one would want his or her money to fuel conflicts in other countries.