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Thursday, 26 March 2015

Diamond Mines And Mining Techniques

Diamonds remain to this day a mystical gem with a somewhat checkered past. The story of the Hope diamond is based on a long legend of misfortunes supposedly befalling its various and colorful owners. Segregation and mistreatment of blacks in diamond mines in Africa has long been a terrible mark on humanity in that part of the world. Although early white miners were treated better the working conditions endured by all diamond miners were less than humane. Fortunately most of today's mines while still depending on human labor have most of the heavy work done with machinery.

Contrary to popular belief diamonds are mined in areas other than Africa. Some of the better known diamond mines are these.

* Argye one of the Rio Tinto company mines is located in Western Australia.

* Diavik another Rio Tinto mine is located in Canada.

* Ekati owned by BHP Billiton and located in the Northwest Territories of Canada.

* Baken owned by Trans Hexis is located in South Africa.

* Merlin owned by Striker Resources is located in Australia.

* Orapa owned by a partnership between DeBeers and the government of Botswana is in Botswana.

* Premier owned by the De Beers Company is located in South Africa.

Diamond ore is extracted from these mines using basically four mining techniques which are based on the type of geology in which the diamond bearing material is located.

Marine Mining is the most recent development introduced about 1990. This technique is similar to deep water oil drilling. A large shaft is bored into the seabed to a depth where diamond bearing soil is located and that material is sucked to the surface. Also underwater vehicles called "crawlers" move along the seabed to scoop up diamond bearing gravel and pump it to the surface.

Placer Diamond Mining is a technique that is seen many times in movies of the old West. The diamonds are buried in river banks or mountain sides and water canons are used to wash the material down to be processed.

Hard Rock Diamond Mining is again familiar to movie fans as they watched coal miners or gold and silver miners digging their way into deep underground tunnels. Of course the technique is modern now and makes use of many specialized machines to do the heavy work.

Open-Pit diamond mining is similar to the pit coal mines of West Virginia and some western states. Overburden which is the soil covering the diamond embedded material is moved by machinery and blasting. The diamond bearing material is then moved to processing plants. This technique is common when the diamond bearing material is found close to the surface of if the geology is so unstable that tunneling is not safe or practical.

From this short article it should be apparent that diamonds take long and interesting journeys before they find a cherished spot on your finger or ear lobes.

Source: http://ezinearticles.com/?Diamond-Mines-And-Mining-Techniques&id=4800018

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