Who are the Diamond Producing Countries?
Diamonds are mined in 24 different countries know as diamond producing countries.
Group 1 countries produce the fewest pure gem quality diamonds. They mainly produce industrial diamonds and near-gem quality diamonds destined for fashion jewelry markets.
Group 2 countries produce the largest number of commercial grade diamonds mainly destined for wedding markets all over the world but mostly to USA, Japan, India and Greater China.
Group 3 countries produce a relatively high number of premium quality diamonds – top quality white diamonds and rare large size diamonds – mainly destined for luxury consumer markets.
The largest Diamond producing countries are:
- South Africa
- Democratic Republic of Congo
Jwaneng Mine is the richest diamond mine in the world. It usually produces around 11 million carats of diamonds per year usually valued at over US$ 2.3 billion.
Orapa is the world’s largest open-pit diamond mine. It usually produces around 12 million carats of diamonds per year usually valued at about US$1.8 billion.
Both Jwaneng and Orapa are located in the country of Botswana and are owned by Debswana, which is a 50/50 joint venture between De Beers and the Republic of Botswana. De Beers is 85 percent owned by Anglo American and 15 percent by the Government of Botswana.
In 1983, the Argyle mine was established as the first major diamond mining operation in Australia.
Almost immediately, it became the world’s largest source of diamonds by volume of carats produced. The discovery, development, and operation of this mine challenged conventional beliefs about diamond geology, mineral processing, and the marketing of gem diamonds.
In its peak year, 1994, the mine produced over 42.8 million carats of rough diamonds, which represented 40 percent of the world’s production.
A large proportion of Argyle’s output consists of inexpensive small brown-to-yellow as well as some near-colorless and colorless rough diamonds furthermore The Argyle mine is also the dominant producer of rare pink diamonds.
In a way, production from the Argyle mine built the diamond cutting industry in India. Argyle has produced more than 800 million carats since 1983, most of which can only be viably cut and polished in India, therefore creating jobs for more than half a million Indians at peak.
Construction of the Argyle underground mine was completed in the first half of 2013.
Underground operations, that is 40km of underground tunnels, will generate around 9 million tonnes of ore per annum, and on average approximately 20 million carats per year over the life of the block cave – to at least 2020.
The Argyle underground mine is one of the most technologically advanced mines in the world, built at a cost of US$2.2 billion.
It was constructed using a block caving technique which is especially effective for a large low-grade ore body like Argyle because it is a high-volume mining method.
This production rate, similar to the former open-pit operation, is necessary to keep unit costs down and maintain high levels of mining efficiency.
A handful of companies dominate diamond production, De Beers being the most famous. The others are Alrosa, Rio Tinto Diamonds, Dominion Diamond, Petra Diamonds and Endiama. Together, these six companies control more than 80 percent of annual supply of diamonds.