Tuesday, December 20, 2011

All About Mining Diamonds

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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