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Diamonds are arguably one of the most beautiful and sought after precious stones in the world. Even though any one of us can go to the jewelry store to buy one, we sometimes forget about where they come from.
Diamond mines are found on every continent on the planet. Europe, Antarctica, Africa, Australia and South America are perhaps some of the most famous. However, when considering all the ways to invest diamond, a potential investor should consider understanding mining nations in slightly more detail. The highest levels of diamond production by country are not necessarily where you might think.
The World’s Diamond Production by Country:
This list of the 10 biggest diamond producing countries comes from the annual global survey by the Kimberley Process Certification Scheme; a joint government, industry and social initiative to prevent the trade in “conflict diamonds” involving some 99.8% of global diamond producers. In the global report from 2009, we have the following:
1. Russia – $2.34 billion worth
2. Canada – $1.47 billion worth
3. Botswana – $1.44 billion worth
4. Angola – $1.18 billion worth
5. South Africa – $0.89 billion worth
6. Namibia – $0.41 billion worth
7. Australia – $0.31 billion worth
8. Congo – $0.23 billion worth
9. Lesotho – $0.13 billion worth
10. Sierra Leone – $0.08 billion worth
The Perennials – Africa and Australia:
We all know that Africa is a massive diamond producer, especially when all the African countries are taken in aggregate. Similarly, Australia is a well known producer, thanks to the fame of the likes of the Argyle diamond mine, founded in the early 1970’s when diamonds were found at Smoke Creek in Western Australia. A few years later scientists unearthed the Argyle diamond pipe, which was at its time one of the world’s richest diamond deposits. Nevertheless, production has now fallen off sharply, leading us to the two big surprises in the list.
The Rise of Russia and Canada:
When you ask people what countries they associate with diamond production, few are likely to suggest Russia and Canada. Yet in 2009 they were the largest producers in the world, unearthing some $3.87 billion of diamonds between them. Russia and Canada, with their vast territories, have been discovering fresh diamond deposits at an incredible rate in the past five years or so. In 2008 Russia was far behind Botswana in the production stakes, whereas now this has been reversed. For its part, Canada has been in the top three diamond-producing countries since 1990.
One country that deserves an honorable mention is India, being one of the first to mine diamonds after their discovery in the fourth century B.C. Although its mines were depleted many years ago, it retains one active diamond mine in Panna.
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