Diamonds are one of the most sought-after precious stones in the world, and they are famously found in mines. But where do miners look for diamonds? How do they know where to find them? As it turns out, there is both an art and a science to searching for diamonds. In this blog article, we will explore the answers to these questions and more. From different types of diamond mines to the search for kimberlite pipes, keep reading to learn everything you need to know about hunting for diamonds!
Alluvial diamond mining
Alluvial diamond mining is the process through which diamonds are recovered from deposits of sand, gravel and clay. Large concentrations of alluvial diamonds have been found in Angola, Namibia and South Africa. The earth is constantly eroded by weathering agents such as water and wind. This results in the formation of alluvial deposits, which contain a concentration of diamonds that are typically transported by rivers toward the ocean. In order to mine these alluvial deposits, miners must first identify a potential site. Once a site has been identified, miners will excavate the deposit using machinery or manually with shovels and picks. The gravel is then processed through a series of screens and jigs to extract the diamonds.
Underground mining and open-pit mining
Most of the world’s natural diamonds are mined from kimberlite and lamproite pipes. These geological features are created when magma rises up to the surface, bringing Diamonds with it. The magma then cools and solidifies, and over time, erosion can expose the pipes at the surface.
There are two types of mining processes that companies use to extract diamonds from these pipes: open-pit mining and underground mining.
Open-pit mining involves removing the layers of sand and rock covering a kimberlite pipe. This process can be very large scale, with heavy equipment required to remove the overburden. Once the pipe is exposed, miners will use excavators to break up the kimberlite and haul it away for processing.
Underground mining is used when a pipe is too deep to be mined using open-pit methods. Miners tunnel into the earth, following the exposed diamond-bearing kimberlite pipe. Tunnels are typically small in order to keep them stable, so workers must crawl through them in order to reach the diamond ore. Once they have reached the ore, they will break it up and bring it back to the surface for processing.
Marine mining is the process of extracting diamonds from the seabed. This type of mining is usually done in areas where land-based mining is not possible, such as in the depths of the ocean.
The most common method of marine mining is diamond dredging. This involves using a boat to suck up sand and gravel from the seabed, which is then sifted for diamonds. Diamonds are also sometimes found in coastal areas, where they have been carried by rivers or waves.
Tailings mining is the process of extracting diamonds from the residue left over after ore has been processed. This process is typically used when traditional mining methods are not feasible or economical, and can be employed in both open-pit and underground mines.
In tailings mining, a large pit is excavated and the tailings (residue) from diamond processing operations are deposited in it. The deposit is then mined, usually using large earth-moving equipment. Diamonds are often found in association with other minerals such as garnet, zircon, and ilmenite, so the tailings may also contain these materials.
Some companies have developed innovative technologies for tailings mining, which can greatly improve the efficiency of the process. For example, De Beers’ ” flexible wall mining” technique involves creating a barrier around the perimeter of the pit to prevent collapse, while allowing for greater flexibility in mine planning and design.
How to find diamonds on your own
While it is possible to find diamonds on your own, it is more likely that you will find other minerals such as quartz, beryl, or mica. These minerals can be found in a variety of rocks including igneous, metamorphic, and sedimentary. To have the best chance of finding diamonds, you should look for them in kimberlite pipes. Kimberlite is an igneous rock that is formed when lava cools quickly. It is dark in color and often contains small crystals of olivine.