General, Research, Technology

How diamonds are mined and where do they come from

People at all times worshiped jewelry. Stones and metals not only conquered their minds, but also became the cause of wars. Some were ready to give their lives for them, while others were ready to take it away. Which jewelry has almost always been the most valuable? Of course, these are gold and diamonds. They even became a household name in their category. With gold, everything is more or less clear. It is mined, melted, and so on, but what path the diamond goes from the first shovel stuck into the ground at the deposit to the royal crown is a big question. Moreover, gold at all times was mined plus or minus in the same way, which cannot be said about diamonds. There really is a lot to roam and develop in terms of technology.

They are too beautiful not to be considered precious.

Content

  • 1 Where do diamonds come from
  • 2 Places of diamond mining
    • 2.1 Countries where diamonds are mined
    • 2.2 Where diamonds are mined in Russia
  • 3 How to find a diamond deposit
  • 4 How diamonds are mined
  • 5 How a mining and processing plant works
  • 6 How a diamond differs from a diamond
  • 7 The most famous diamonds
    • 7.1 The Koh-i-Noor Diamond
    • 7.2 Diamond "Tiffany"
    • 7.3 Diamond "Black Eagles"

Where do diamonds come from?

First, let's figure it out altogether, where do diamonds come from, and how they appear in the bowels of our planet. If you are already familiar with this or you are not very interested in it, just scroll to the next item.

The diamond is the hardest mineral in the world... There is even a so-called Mohs scale, whichoften used to determine the hardness of objects. Most often recently, this scale can be encountered when determining the resistance of a smartphone screen to scratches. Without going into details, it consists of 10 steps, in which the hardness corresponds to the hardness of different substances - from talc to diamond. That is, it is the diamond that is considered the standard of hardness.

Diamond is a crystalline modification of pure carbon and is considered one of the most expensive stones. Transparent stones are especially appreciated and with a slight shade of blue. The rest of the impurities are considered defective, but sometimes they are also very high.

The main places where diamonds are formedare areas of the continents where for a long time there is no geological activity. This process takes place at great depths - from about 100 to 200 kilometers. This depth was chosen based on the conditions that are created there.

Man cannot create such beauty. Only nature is capable of this.

The temperature at this depth reaches 1,500 degrees Celsius, and the pressure often exceeds the mark 40,000 atmospheres... It is this pressure and temperature that can change the crystalline structure of carbon so much that this stone turns out to be on the verge of fantasy.

Artificial diamonds obtained in laboratories since the 60s of the pastcentury. Recently, experiments have been carried out to produce diamonds by pressurizing them with a directional blast. But all this is more like some kind of alchemy. Although formally, some insignificant diamond particles are actually formed.

I must say right away that no one climbs on suchdepth to mine diamonds, since over billions of years they themselves gradually come out. They do this by floating to the surface with kimberlite magma. This is how primary diamond deposits are formed.

And yet they are beautiful.

The definition of "kimberlite pipes" appearedafter the first such pipe was discovered in the Kimberley province of southern Africa. They began to be called kimberlite, and the rock that contains diamonds, kimberlite.

Now the world has thousands of kimberlite pipesHowever, diamond mining is not profitable in all places. There are only a few dozen places in the world where it really makes sense to do this.

This is what a kimberlite pipe looks like.

Diamond mining locations

Countries with a lot of diamonds are strongscattered in terms of their level of economic development, social sphere, religion, and so on. However, they are fortunate enough to be in the very places where diamond mining really makes sense.

Countries where diamonds are mined

  • Russia - 40.32 million carats per year
  • Congo - 23.20 million carats per year
  • Botswana - 20.50 million carats per year
  • Australia - 13.96 million carats per year
  • Canada - 13.3 million carats per year
  • Angola - 8.7 million carats per year
  • South Africa - 8.3 million carats per year

Where diamonds are mined in Russia

  • Yakutia
  • Arhangelsk region
  • Murmansk region
  • Karelia
  • Perm region

How to find a diamond deposit

The diamond industry has one big problem. At one time, exploration of deposits was carried out in secret. That is why not all methods of determining their occurrence are still known. Of course, there are modern methods, but those who do this are still in no hurry to share secrets, since there is a lot of money at stake.

The highest probability of finding diamonds is in the areavolcanoes extinct a long time ago. It is there that a "natural laboratory" is very often created, in which there will be all the conditions for growing these minerals and delivering them to the surface.
Diamonds can also be found in the area of ​​river beds that carry igneous rocks. And more attention should be paid to meteorites, in the places of which they fall, diamonds are also often found.

Such a system of the SU-30 and MiG-29 aerobatic teams is called by the Russian Knights and Swifts the "Cuban Diamond". The word "diamond" emphasizes the whole value of the figure.

How diamonds are mined

The biggest challenge in diamond mining isthe fact that to obtain them it is necessary to process tons of ore. It is generally believed that one ton of rock contains an average of 1-2 carats (0.2-0.4 grams) of diamonds, the size of which will decrease even further when cut.

Sometimes diamond mining is even possible by handway and most often this method is available in Africa. But, as a rule, you have to work more thoroughly and carry out much larger-scale excavations. In general, the technology is somewhat reminiscent of gold washing, the only question is how many minerals are in the rock and in what area they are "scattered".

It is from this "hole in the ground" that diamonds are mined. Notice how much larger it is than the stadium.

The easiest and cheapest way to mineis open. First, the top layer of the soil is removed, and then the quarry gradually deepens by the collapse of its walls with directional explosions. The breed is transported by open-pit trucks to mining and processing plants (GOKi). Ore is processed there.

Often craters sink hundreds of meters into the ground, and their area is comparable to the area of ​​small cities.

The second method is much more difficult to implement andcalled closed. In this case, mines are drilled, in which mining is carried out. Firstly, it is necessary to use sophisticated drilling equipment (as opposed to simple and relatively cheap explosions), and secondly, there is no such room for maneuver as when you simply “dig a hole” and take out the earth from it.

Mines are used in cases where it is impossible to use an open method for one reason or another. They are drilled to a depth of one kilometer (and sometimes more), after which the breed rises to the top and also goes to the GOK.

Such monsters carry ore to the GOK.

When open pit mining is no longer possibleand the quarry cannot be expanded further, mining begins. Shafts are drilled vertically and inclined, and the step between them should not exceed one hundred meters. This work continues as long as there is an economic benefit.

Diamond mining operations are carried out in three shifts of 7 hours and never stops, but to ensureMining townships with all the infrastructure, including hospitals, shops, sports facilities and even airports, are often built nearby. Because often only by air can one get to such places.

To understand the size of a quarry truck, you can show this photo. The truck just didn't notice and ran over the pickup.

How a mining and processing plant works

In order to process the breed and find in itdiamonds, mining dump trucks transport ore to special plants in thousands of tons per day. There, the ore passes through various crushing and grinding systems. Often they differ from each other, but the whole point is to break the rock into small stones, then sift it by size. in a crash (special sifting machine) and subject to further processing.

Large pieces of rock are washed with water in order toto get diamonds, and small ones are exposed to special reagents that literally pull diamonds out of the rock. The spent rock undergoes additional testing - X-ray luminescent separation... The fact is that diamonds glow on x-rays. This property is used to check the quality of the rock processing. The slightest flashes are recorded by automatic equipment and part of the rock is blown off the belt. Then she goes for an additional check.

The GOK is a huge structure with a bunch of specialized equipment.

When diamonds are collected, there are still someimpurities, and then manual labor begins. They are sorted by hand, removing even the smallest extra stones. After that, diamonds are checked and sorted according to a huge number of parameters in order to go to special exchanges, where jewelers will buy them for further processing and use in jewelry.

How a diamond differs from a diamond

Many people confuse these two words, but they aredistinguish a mined mineral from a finished piece of jewelry. The moment a mineral is in the ground, in the back of a quarry truck or in a warehouse awaiting cutting, it is a diamond. Once processed, it becomes a diamond.

Few people know, but diamonds can be brokenif you hit them very hard. They split into pieces along planes parallel to the faces of the regular octahedron. This is exactly the structure it has. Roughly speaking, it is splitting at the seams.

The word diamond in French"Brillant" means "brilliant". This is exactly what it becomes after processing, and the processing itself implies the application of 57 or 58 facets to the surface of the stone. They refract light and give the stone the very glow for which it is so valued.

On the left is a diamond, on the right is a diamond. There is a difference, right?

About 75 percent of the diamonds sold in the world are classically cut. This form consists of the following elements:

  • Crown (top)
  • Rundista (widest part)
  • Pavilion (lower part)

Even though the diamond itself will beit is beautiful even with defects in cutting, and only a specialist can recognize a marriage, a special technique is used here. The craftsmen have been studying the correct cutting of diamonds for many years and they must observe the proportions of the cut as correctly as possible.

If the cut is made different from the classicform or fantasy, it is divided into two types. If you do not go into details, then it is closer to a round or, conversely, closer to an elongated shape.

The most famous diamonds: the Koh-i-noor diamond

Without a doubt, for today the most famous diamond in the world is "Koh-i-noor". In Farsi it means “Mountain of Light”. Legend has it that its first owner was a boy who appeared several thousand years before the birth of Christ near the Yamuna River. It was not a simple child, but a product of the Sun-Karn. The stone was an adornment of his embroidered cap.

It is "Koh-i-noor" that is the "prima" of the British crown.

During its history, the stone saw a lot of blood and changedits owner until it became part of the English crown. Now he is in the Tower Castle and is well guarded. Many people say that the only decent price for this stone is the life of the one who wants to receive it.

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Tiffany diamond

In 1877, a diamond was found in Kimberley, which became the world's largest yellow diamond. Its weight was 287 carats, and it was sold for $ 18,000 - unheard of money in those days. Bought a stone Chalz Tiffany... The cutting took almost two years, and as a result, the stone took on a quadrangular shape and shone with 89 facets.

The unusual cut of this diamond makes it very interesting.

As a result, the stone adorned the showcase store on Fifth Avenue in New York City. The first person who could feel it on his body is the star of the movie "Breakfast at Tiffany's" Audrey Hepburn. After that, a diamond with an unusual cut and a setting in the form of a diamond bird got to auction, but was never sold. As a result, it became the symbol of the "Tiffany & Co" store.

Diamond "Black Orlov"

Another world-famous diamond is called "Black Orlov"... Initially, he was buried in one of the Indian tombs, but the robbers were able to kidnap him. As a result, as the legend says, they brought a curse on themselves and on everyone in whose hands the stone falls.

The same "Black Orlov" ..

Countess Hope is attributed to the victims of the stoneOrlov and Princess Golitsyn. It is also customary to attribute Jay Paris to the victims, who wanted to sell the stone in New York, but instead for some reason jumped off the roof.

There are other famous diamonds that have caused a lot of problems for their owners. And all due to the fact that there is a lot of money behind them, power symbol and just an enchanting shine that “blows the roof off”. There is no need to give them a mystical meaning, it is enough just to understand human greed and the desire for easy money, perhaps even at the cost of someone else's life.