In 2005 world diamond production was 173 million carats and the 4 main producers were : Russia, Botswana, Australia and the Democratic Republic of Congo.
They produce more than 73% of world production.
DIAMONDS EXTRACTION :
The extraction of the diamond will be different depending on the type of deposit encountered, which may be primary, secondary or marin.
PRIMARY DEPOSIT :
The primary deposit includes the pit mine and underground mine :
- Pit mine : this type of exploitation remains the most widespread, especially in South Africa where the famous Kimberley Mine called “Big Hole” is a reference in this area.
Large earth-moving machinery is used to extract the ore from the pipe, in addition to explosives which are used when the rock is too hard.
- Underground mine : underground mining can now reach depths of more than 1,000 meters below the surface of the ground.
The content of the diamonds depletes with depth.
SECONDARY DEPOSIT :
Two kinds of exploitation exist: artisanal exploitation and industrial exploitation.
Extraction occurs most often in streams where the diamonds are collected and extracted at the bottom of the rivers.
The technical and financial means to be implemented are very important for this type of exploitation.
More, long years of research and geological studies are necessary before opening this type of exploitation.
MARIN DEPOSIT :
These operations are rather delicate and require technical means such as large pumps and pipes and, very often the materials recovered must be treated.
Those extractions are done in sea and on beaches.
BLOOD DIAMONDS :
However, the purchase of a diamond does not come without risks. Indeed, the “Blood Diamonds” are a widespread phenomenon.
This is a term used for a diamond mined in a war zone and sold to finance an insurgency. In addition, this term is used to highlight the negative consequences of the diamond trade in certain areas.
Most of those blood diamonds are coming from Africa :
- Ivory Cost
- Sierra Leone
HUMANS RIGHTS :
Most of the time, human rights and working conditions of minors are not respected during diamonds extraction. A lot of children work in mines in order to extract diamonds, that’s why every buyer has to be careful when purchasing a diamond.
KIMBERLEY PROCESS :
Otherwise, it is possible to rely on the Kimberley process which was set up in 2003, bringing together governments and representatives of the diamond industry in order to combat the financing of armed groups and their wars.
SYNTHETIC DIAMONDS :
The exploitation of diamonds is a source of conflict. Faced with the challenge of blood diamonds, synthetic diamonds may offer an alternative.
Their quality allows them to match natural diamonds to the point that they are used in the jewelry sector successfully.Most synthetic diamond producers direct their marketing on the ethical aspect of their diamonds because they are not blood diamonds. More, they are affordable which make them very popular.