Top Five Diamond-Producing Countries | BNT Diamonds
Small diamonds as investment

Diamonds as investments: Top 5 countries that produce diamonds

13 Jul 21
  • Russia, Botswana, the DRC, Australia, and Canada are the world’s largest diamond producers.
  • Diamonds as investments: BNT Diamonds informs and advises its clients.

At first glance, the diamond industry seems to have a short, straight-forward production chain. It all starts with mining the diamond, followed by trading raw minerals, the production of the polished diamond, and selling it as an investment diamond. In practice, however, the process is less straightforward.

Certain countries have mines, while others have the funding, high-tech technologies, and expertise to process the rough diamonds. These countries become the real production centres even though there are no mines within their borders. Some countries, in turn, have both mines and the expertise to process diamonds.

Russia and Canada are the biggest diamond-producing countries in the northern hemisphere. While in the southern hemisphere, Botswana, South-Africa, Namibia, and Australia are the largest diamond-producing countries.

Udachnaya pipe

Russia

Based on sheer volume, Russia is the world’s largest producer and exporter of rough diamonds. In 2014, an estimated 38 million carats of rough diamonds were retrieved from Russian mines. The main mine — the Alrosa — accounts for 90% of Russia’s yearly diamond production.

In Russian mines, diamonds of all shapes and sizes are unearthed. They’re known for their fluorescence and their crystalline shape: sharp diamonds with eight facets. Several Russian mines also produce diamonds with a yellow hue.

Botswana

Botswana is the world leader based on the value of the diamonds mined there. In terms of volume, however, this country comes second, after Russia. Botswana is also home to the De Beers company and produces the majority of the company’s diamonds. The country has 7 mines, of which Orapa and Jwaneng are the most important. Both these mines are used by the De Beers Company. Other players in this African country are Lucara and Kimberley Diamonds.

In Botswana, a wide range of diamond shapes and colours can be mined. For the most part, the diamonds are of high quality and have a dodecahedron shape.

Democratic Republic of Congo

The DRC is the largest diamond producer on the African continent. The country has a long mining history and, based on volume, it’s the third largest diamond producer in the world.

The majority of the production is done informally and not by large mining companies. According to estimations, about 700,000 artisanal miners are active in the sector. The only commercial diamond producer is Miniere de Bakwange (MIBA), a joint venture between the Belgian enterprise Sibeka and the Congolese authorities. The De Beers Company has holdings of 20% in Sibeka and sell approximately one third of the diamonds mined in the country. Currently, diamonds are still mined on a small scale, in a small area.

The MIBA produces diamonds of a lower quality, compared to the other mines. In other regions, high quality white diamonds are unearthed.

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Australia

Australia is the world leader of coloured diamonds. The country is known for its yellow, pink, red, and purple diamonds.

The largest diamond mine in Australia is the Argyle mine, operated by Rio Tinto. The Argyle mine was a highly productive mine, with more than 12 million carats being mined there each year. Until a couple of years ago, it was an open mine that was also being dug underground.

The Argyle mine became the leading producer of natural coloured diamonds — including the rare and highly-coveted Argyle pink and red diamonds. However, mining operations ceased there in November 2020.

Canada

In the 20th century, there was almost no diamond production in Canada. It was Chuck Fipke and Stewart Blossom that put the country on the map as a diamond producing country. Today, Canada is one of the largest diamond producing countries in the world.

Canada has 4 active diamond mines: Diavik, Ekati, Snap Lake, and Victor. Ekati was the first operational diamond mine of the country. The Diavik mine is managed by Rio Tinto, the two other mines are operated by the De Beers company. The majority of the diamonds unearthed in Canada are colourless and of high quality.

Based on volume, the five countries mentioned above account for 76% of diamond production worldwide. In terms of value, they account for more than 65% of the world’s production.

With this article, BAUNAT strives to inform you thoroughly about investing in diamonds. No investment can be guaranteed to be without risk or fully according to your expectations. That is why we recommend to research the risks and aspects of investing in diamond properly to ensure that you make the right choice for your portfolio.