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How diamonds make the journey from underground

No one can deny the beauty and enduring appeal of a gleaming diamond, even the team here at National Plant & Equipment. We're always on the look-out for interesting mining facts, and this infographic on how diamonds are mined immediately caught our eye, so we wanted to share it with our readers.

No one can deny the beauty and enduring appeal of a gleaming diamond, even the team here at National Plant & Equipment. We're always on the look-out for interesting mining facts, and this infographic on how diamonds are mined immediately caught our eye, so we wanted to share it with our readers.

The start of the journey

Diamonds are created over 100 miles below ground, where the heat and pressure is strong enough to crystallise carbon. As you're probably aware, diamonds are extremely old, having been pushed towards the surface by magma from kimberlite eruptions; the last known kimberlite eruption occurred more than 25 million years ago. When the magma from these eruptions cooled, conical veins of kimberlite rock were left behind with diamonds inside.

Extracting the gems

To retrieve diamonds from the earth, kimberlite pipes are blasted. Frequently, open pit mining will be done, whereby ledges or benches are constructed to enable diamonds to be mined from near the surface. When open pit mining is not possible, underground mining is an option. With this, complex underground tunnelling systems are utilised to get deeper into the kimberlite pipes.

Alluvial mining is also possible in areas where diamonds have been washed out of rock and into riverbeds and beaches. For this to be effective, walls need to be built to hold back sand and water.

Pipe mining is another common method; earth is broken up near volcanic pipes and calculated man-made tunnels are used to allow predictable retrieval of the diamonds.

Mining plant hire for your project

Here at National Plant and Equipment, we supply the best mining equipment and machinery. Whether you're looking for mine equipment for hire or sale, get in touch today to find out how we can meet your dozing, hauling, loading and digging needs.

Take a look at diamonds' long journey in more detail in this infographic.

How diamonds make the journey from underground