How Diamonds Are Mined

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.

(word count 187)


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