After more than 150 years of intensive mining following the discovery of the Eureka Diamond on the banks of the Orange River in 1867, South Africa’s diamond industry remains among the top 5 largest producers in the world.
Initial discoveries were of alluvial diamonds (the mining of which continues today along the southern banks of the Orange River). Yet the richest diamond discoveries came to be found in deposits in the the ‘yellow’ and ‘blue’ ground that came to be called kimberlites (after the town Kimberly, near where the first kimberlite was discovered). These diamond-rich kimberlites are ancient, solidified magma ‘pipes’ that extend approximately 2.5 km below the Earth’s surface. They are the remnants of volcanic bursts that brought the minerals – formed some 3.3 billion years ago under conditions of intense heat and pressure – from the Earth’s upper mantle to the crust.
Diamonds in South Africa are also mined off the shore of the country’s north-western coastline.
Amongst the highest-quality gems ever found, South African diamonds are typically round dodecahedral stones in high whites, pinks and blues.
In 2017, over 60% of South Africa’s diamonds came from the Venetia Mine in Limpopo Province and the Finsch Mine in the Northern Cape.
De Beer’s Venetia Mine is South Africa’s largest producer of diamonds. The open-pit phase of the mine was launched in 1992 and is expected to run until between 2020 and 2023, with the Venetia Underground Project currently underway, which will extend the extraction of the deposit to around 2046. The Venetia Mine has an annual output of around 3 million carats, with a total resource estimate of 94 million carats.
The second largest diamond-producing mine is Petra Diamonds’ Finsch Mine (established in 1978), which produced 2.1 million carats in 2017. Various expansion projects in different stages of development are underway or are planned for the future. The mine has a significant gross resource of 45 million carats.
Another famous diamond mine in South Africa is the Cullinan Mine (or Premier Mine), situated about 40 km east of Pretoria, which in 1905 yielded the world’s largest gem-quality diamond ever discovered, the Cullinan Diamond. Already in production for over 100 years, mining operations are currently being expanded, which will increase production from 920 000 carats to 2.6 million carats by 2019.
Get complete detailed analysis, project intelligence and key contact details on South Africa’s diamond mining projects with Africa Mining IQ!
As Africa’s largest online mining information service, Africa Mining IQ is the definitive resource for diamond mining in South Africa, providing in-depth analysis, project intelligence and key contact details for the country’s diamond mining projects.
Each of the over-40 projects tracked on AMIQ are covered with a comprehensive and up-to-date project report that allows suppliers of the products and services to the mining industry to connect with mine owners, project suppliers and engineers and EPCMs.
We’re tracking projects owned by the following mining houses:
With Africa Mining IQ, you have access to Africa’s largest intelligence database for African mines!
Read more about the Africa Mining IQ advantage here!
We have various subscription packages starting from R 8 500 p/m!
Project Contact Information
Africa Mining IQ is the ONLY African mining intelligence database that guarantees a key contact per mine owner / project engineer or project supplier. All African mining projects are carefully researched and verified by a team of researchers.
Africa Mining IQ Reporting
In depth analysis reports delve into African mining project statistics such as number of projects per region per phase, and have been created for you to download and use for tendering and project tracking purposes.
The following leading companies use Africa Mining IQ: