Diamonds appeared more than 300 billion years ago. First they were found in Kimberley, South Africa.
The rich deposits of diamonds were opened in Yakutia in the mid 1950s, in general 1500 diamond pipes have been found in this region. 99% of all diamonds of Russia and more than 1/4 of the all world diamonds are mined in Yakutia.
Right now we are going to join blogger aslan and visit the city called Mirny – the diamond capital of Yakutia. The diamond pipe found there in 1955 became a city forming one.
Today Mirny is populated by 35 thousand people. 80% of them work in the diamond mining sphere.
Aiport in Mirny.
The building of “Alrosa” diamond mining company.
Diamond pipe in Mirny opened June, 1955.
The mine is located next to the residential area of Mirny.
Since 1957 to 2001 they mined diamonds at cost of seventeen billion US dollars. Since that time the mine has become much bigger and wider.
The depth of the mine is 525 m, its diameter is 1,2 km. It’s one of the deepest mines in the world.
Water accumulating on its bottom is a threat for the mine under the quarry. They have to continuously pump the water out.
In 2013 they mined diamonds of two million of carats.
760 people work at the mine.
They have nine tunnelling machines here.
Each machine has 72 teeth. They regularly replaced with new ones.
Eight loading vehicles are working here.
The conveyor band is 1200 m long. In average each ton contains three carats.
The distance from this place to the bottom is twenty meters. There is a waterproof layer on the very bottom of the mine.
Water collecting system – all the water is pumped out on the surface.
In general ten pumps whose power is from 180 to 400 m3/h function at the mine.
Conveyor system works.
Pictures from another diamond pipe – “International” one. It is located sixteen kilometers from Mirny.
It is the richest diamond pipe in Mirny – eight carats per ton. Its diamonds are highly valued all over the world.
The mine is 1065 m deep. The general length of the tunnels is over 40 km.
Breaking down the ore.
The ore is loaded and delivered to ore passes.
Daily “International” mine digs 1500 tons of ore. In 2013 they mined 4,3 million carats here.
The work continues 24/7. They only have two holidays – New Year and the Day of miners.
Diamond pipe “Nyurbinskaya” created in March, 2000.
This mine is 225 meters deep. Potentially it can be deepened to 320 m.
Carrying capacity of these dumptrucks varies from 40 to 136 tons.
In 2013 the mine brought 6,5 million carats.
In average each ton at the mine contains 4,25 carats.
This truck now has 300-400 carats…
The ore will be delivered to the factory.
The complex may process 1415 tons of ore annually.
Primary breaking shop and the jaw breaker. The jaw breaker processes six thousand of ore daily.
Secondary crushing shop.
Its diameter is seven meters.
Stones are sorted according to their size.
Screw-type classifiers divides the ore according to its density.
This machine is for the smallest diamonds – 2 mm and smaller.
Top-feed film-floatation machine.
XRL separator. Here they see how diamonds glow when X-rayed.
Central control station of the factory.
Diamond sorting center.
No identical diamonds exist in the nature so their classification involves sorting: 16 sizes x 10 shapes x 5 qualities, 10 colors = 8000 positions in general.
Vibration sieve shaker. 1500 stones inside the shaker.
Weighing machines deal with big ones.
Each gemstone is estimated thrice.
Diamond weight is estimated in carats.
1 carat – 0,2 grams (200 mg).
Several times a month they find stones heavier than 50 carats.
The world biggest diamond weighs 621 grams, it costs 200 billion rubles (4 billion dollars).
The biggest Yakut diamond weighs 342 carats.
60% of all diamonds are used for making jewelry, all others are used for industrial purposes.
After gem-cutting a stone loses from 30 to 70% of its weight.