Mining is an important part of the equation in diamond’s value. Specifically, mining is the process of first locating and then extracting the rough. Of course diamond mining could be as easy as stooping over and digging up a large, fine, ten carat octahedral crystal out of a muddy river bed. Generally, alluvial mining is the least difficult and therefore is primarily worked with picks, shovels and pans. Alluvial deposits are usually found in small pockets and therefore are quickly exhausted. Only in very productive areas would heavy machinery get involved such as front-loaders and bulldozers. Kimberlite pipes exist all over the world but very few actually contain diamonds. Even when they are diamond bearing, the pipe has to be rich enough to justify the major expense involved in setting up and running a mining operation. Just a few of the many aspects that must be considered include location, climate conditions, political climate, water access, power access, and communications.

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