Results for - The History of Diamonds and Mining in Russia ** Part Five * Diamonds were discovered in the frozen tundra of the Russian republic Yakutia in the 1950s, instantly transforming the Soviet Union into an important diamond country.
2,213 voters participated in this survey
Today, Russia is not only exceptionally rich with the resource, it is also an important center for trading, manufacturing, researching and consuming diamonds. Russia is the world’s largest diamond producer by volume, mining more than 36 million carats in 2014. It is also the world’s second largest producer by value after Botswana, with its production estimated at more than $5 billion. It mines, supplies rough to clients around the world, polishes, researches, makes jewelry and has a large homegrown client base.
1. The first resource found in Yakutia was Mirny, discovered in the late 1950s. Over the years, it became one of the largest open pit diamond mines in the world. Mirny Mine, otherwise known as Mir Mine, is one of the larger man-made excavated holes in the world. It is an enormous open-pit Kimberlite Diamond mine and is located in the old Yakut Autonomous Soviet Socialist Republic, now Eastern Siberia. The Diamond rich deposit was discovered on June 13th, 1955 by Soviet geologists during the larger scale Amakinsky expedition to the Yakut ASSR. The mine is over 525 meters deep, making it the 4th deepest of its kind in the world and has a diameter of 1,200 meters. Open-mining operations ceased in 2001 with an emphasis on underground mining for diamonds commencing in 2009. They closed the air space over the pit as there are concerns that the air flow from the pit can suck helicopters from the sky into the pit. Despite some incidents there has not been a crash. Would you take a flight over this pit?
2. Russian diamond resources produce the full range of goods – all sizes, colors and clarities. They are known for their fluorescence, which is usually less desirable for gem-quality diamonds. Another common feature of the Russian goods is that they are often in "crystal" shape, which has eight facets and sharp corners. Several Russian mines also produce fancy yellow diamonds. Would you choose a yellow diamond over a colorless diamond?
3. The "Russian make," as the Russian polishing is known, is famous for its very high quality. With access to a wide range of rough goods, Russian polishing facilities also offer the full range of polished goods. They were an early adopter of automatic machinery and robotics, and heavily rely on this technology today. Alrosa, which mines and sells more than 95% of Russia's diamonds, states that the country has nearly 10 million carats in proved reserves and a total of 970 million carats in proved, measured and inferred resources. At current production rates, these resources should last for another 25 years. Would you enjoy working with, analyzing and processing diamonds?
4. About 36 million years ago, an asteroid slammed into northern Siberia and created one of the largest craters on Earth. Streaking in at an estimated speed of 20 kilometers (12 miles) per second, the asteroid made an impact that ejected millions of metric tons of material into the air. The asteroid—between 5 and 8 kilometers (3 to 5 miles) wide—created a crater nearly 100 kilometers (60 miles) in diameter. Popigai crater is the fourth largest verified impact crater on Earth. The crater sits on the northeastern margin of the Anabar shield, which contains a mix of graphite-bearing rocks and sedimentary rocks. The impact from the asteroid melted 1,750 cubic kilometers (420 cubic miles) of rocks and instantly transformed the flakes of graphite into diamonds. Diamonds formed in a hemispherical shell about 1.6 kilometers (a mile) thick and about 12 to 13 kilometers away from the impact site. Scientists estimate that diamonds did not form at the impact site because the collision's heat and pressure were likely too great to survive there. Have you ever seen a large crater, like Crater Lake in Oregon?
5. Popigai crater is the site of one of the largest diamond fields in the world today, estimated to contain "trillions of carats." Because they were formed instantly, the "impact diamonds" did not have time to develop as large, single gemstones. Most are polycrystalline stones smaller than two millimeters and with low purity, making them better for industrial uses than for jewelry. Industrial diamonds are used for the cutting and grinding of very hard materials, for optical devices, such as lasers, for heat dissipation, and for diamond coatings to produce enhanced wear resistance. Have you ever worked with industrial diamonds?
6. Which country has recently become one of the top diamond producers in the world?