Who would have thought that diamonds, probably the most beautiful minerals ever are formed from carbon? But that’s how miraculous our Earth is, isn’t it? When these carbon atoms are crystallized under pressure they give birth to these mesmerizing beauties. Diamond mining dates back to antiquity. Since time immemorial people have been mining diamond from the earth’s mantle, making these pieces a beautiful part of our jewellery collection.
Mining these minerals involves both art and science. Though diamond is one of the hardest minerals, yet mining them is not easy due to their complex formation in the earth’s crust. Let’s understand how this beautiful combination of time and pressure i.e. a Diamond mined.
Broadly speaking, there are basically two types of mining: Pipe Mining and Alluvial Mining. Both of these mining require a massive amount of time and labour.
Pipe mining can be further categorized into Open-pit and underground mining depending upon the location and geology of where the mine is located. In Open-pit mining, a large hole is dug which is broad at the surface and narrower as it goes down. This allows the machinery to go deep down and extract diamond from ores. When diamonds get exhausted through open pit mining, underground mining begins. Kimberlite pipes are located by the miners deep under the earth’s crust through tunnels. In two levels tunnels are constructed so that when the miners blast the pipes in the first tunnel, they fall and get accumulated in the second tunnel. The broken ores are then processed to extract diamond pieces.
These diamond get washed due to weather conditions transport to river beds and oceans by erosion. Therefore, large walls are built to hold back the diamond-rich water and sand. The gravel thus collected is then taken to the surface and processed to find diamonds.
With increasing demands for diamonds, people have found newer methods of mining diamonds, one of them being
In this diamond are extracted from the seabed, deep under the water. With technological advancement, ships that have drill mounted on the top are used to extract and excavate diamonds.