Many Russian quarries are abandoned today, they look from the height like huge creepy holes in the ground, but the demand for diamonds is so overwhelming that we are ready to go far deep to the bowels of the earth to find some more. This story is about mining diamonds in Yakutia.
We are going to join blogger dementievskiy, go 500-700 meters under the ground and check out how Yakut diamonds are mined today.
Mirny is the city primarily known for its Big Hole – Mir quarry’s diameter is 1200 m and it’s depth is 500 m. It still has an acid lake on its bottom, people say it does not freeze even in severe winter.
One can get to Mirny only by plane.
Safety measures go first.
Excursions are normally never arranged in such places – it’s too dangerous and nobody wants to take the responsibility.
But when visitors do come they may go crazy under the ground, lose self-control and start searching for diamonds. Stop laughing! It did happen to some foreigners!
The scheme of the mine.
This is how you need to be dressed to go down.
Everyone gets a respirator. It may be required if a collapse occurs in the mine.
“Return home safe and sound”. Visitors should remember being here is dangerous.
Ladies agree to take the risk too.
We can get to the mine through the corridor.
And then we must use the elevator.
High time for creepy stories!
The inner wall of the mine.
Then the wall disappears and we see another lighted level.
We are finally on the bottom, over 500 m under the surface. The atmospheric pressure is different here and most of the visitors do not feel very well.
The sign says we’re 550 m down.
The blue signal means we can enter.
It’s warm, light and dry in here. We didn’t expect it.
Miners are curious to see journalists here.
What lies behind this door is the MINE itself. Some doors open only after a call to the controller. No mobile connection here, of course. Only wire telephones.
You will hardly find a better place for a horror footage…
“Warning! Automatic fire fighting system is on!”
This is some kind of a repair shop.
Huge bucket for the ore containing diamonds.
Equipment used in the mine. There is a serious gas hazard here, any spark may cause an explosion.
Like any Russian road…
The tough “taxi” of the mine.
This ore may contain diamonds. Some journalists resist looking for them immediately.
The rig and the shaft with diamonds behind it.
This slightly damp wall is our target. The wall is cold and sticky clay, it absolutely does not seem that we can find diamonds here!
Such instrument is used to get into the tube crushing the rock into small fragments. The crushed stone is carried away to be further used for finding diamonds.
These vehicles are used for ore transportation.
New rails – the railway will be built manually. In fact a lot of work in the mine is done manually.
P.S. In 1980 the biggest Soviet diamond with mass of 342,5 carats (68 grams) was found here. The mine has already yielded diamonds worth a total for seventeen billion dollars.