How Diamonds Are Mined

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We seldom think about how the diamonds

we wear came to us. Natural diamonds, as

opposed to synthetic diamonds or fake

diamonds, are mined from the earth. There

are currently two methods of mining

diamonds: Pipe Mining and Alluvial Mining.

When pipe mining is used, the diamonds

are extracted from the earth through volcanic

pipes. These are not man-made pipes. These

are natural pipes in the ground. Shanks are

put into the ground next to the pipes, and

tunnels are driven into the deepest parts of

the pipe. The diamonds are not sorted out at

the mine. Instead, huge rocks that are full of

diamonds are brought out of the mine and

moved to a screening plant for separation.

The Alluvial mining method is done in

riverbeds and on beaches. Walls are built to

hold back the water and the sand on the bank

or beach is moved with a bulldozer until the

level of earth that diamonds can be found in

is reached. Again, the diamonds are not

sorted here. Instead, the sand that contains

the diamonds is bulldozed into trucks, and

taken to screening plants.

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