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The kimberley diamond mine in South Africa

The kimberley diamond mine in South Africa
Issue Time:2017-08-12
The kimberley diamond mine in South Africa


Kimberly diamond mine is an open pit and an underground mine based in Kimberley, South Africa. It has a width of 463 meters across and a depth of around 240 meters.

There is a lot of infrastructure involved in digging mines and excavating diamonds. The Kimberley open pit mines were dug by a large labour force along with a few digging machines (like steam engines) to help. The process that Kimberly currently uses to mine includes use of infrastructure like trucks to transport the rock to a crushing device. Also infrastructure is used in method used to separate diamonds, this is a type of washing pan. There are also large machines, x-rays and conveyer belts in large processing plants. Although currently the mine is dug by machines, the original hole was dug completely by hand. Roads are also used a lot, in Kimberly because the prospectors and other miners want access to Kimberly to mine for diamonds. 

People use the Kimberley region for mining as it is one of the only places in the world where you can find a large deposit of diamonds, as the conditions to make diamonds are very rare, and also because the availability for labour is very good due to the large population of Africa and the lack of job opportunities.

Kimberly has provided the town in South Africa with a significant amount of economic sustainability and help. Kimberley was the starting place of the industrialisation in South Africa. The Kimberley mine also provided jobs and migrant labour, which attracted workers from all over the continent. 


The diamonds are found in Kimberly because of special processes that happened millions of years ago. The diamonds were formed in the mantle and brought to the surface by volcanic eruptions. These eruptions produce the kimberlite pipes that are found in the Kimberley mine today. The formation of diamonds requires very high temperatures and pressure about 150 kilometres deep into the Earth and at around 1050 degrees Celsius. This is found in very limited zones in the Earth’s mantle, one, which occurred by Kimberly mine. 

There was a lot of labour needed to dig the Kimberley mine. Nearly 50,000 miners have worked hard to dig Kimberley mine. Some of the labour was provided by the young men who would travel to the mines during the summer. But they would only provide temporary labour.