Africa is a continent rich in natural resources, including diamonds and gold. Diamond mining is an important industry in Africa, contributing to the economic development of the region. Africa is the world’s largest producer of diamonds, accounting for about 30% of global production. Gold is also a significant mineral resource in Africa, with production occurring in more than 40 countries. Africa is the world’s second largest producer of gold, after China.
The diamond mining industry plays a significant role in the economic development of Africa. Diamonds are mined in many African countries, including Botswana Namibia, South Africa, and Tanzania. The diamond mining industry contributes to the employment thousands of people in Africa and generates billions of dollars in revenue for African economies.
The diamond mining industry has also been criticized for its environmental and social impacts. Diamond mining can lead to soil erosion and habitat loss. Diamond mining also often takes place in conflict-affected areas, where human rights abuses have been documented.
Despite the challenges, Africa’s diamond and gold industries continue to make significant contributions to the continent’s economy. Africa’s diamonds and gold are a vital part of the global jewelry market and are likely to remain an important part of Africa’s economy in the future.
Diamond mining is the mainstay of South Africa’s economy, but this hasn’t always been the case. The country’s large diamond mining industry began with the discovery of a large diamond in 1886 by a young shepherd named Erasmus Jacobs. This find led to an influx of miners from all over the world coming to South Africa, and eventually resulted in the discovery of an even bigger diamond in 1871.
This marked the beginning of large scale diamond mining in Africa. The diamond industry has been through its ups and downs, with illegal smuggling costing the South African government millions of rands, however, the industry is still one of the biggest employers in the country.
Africa is rich in minerals and diamonds are just one of them. Although often associated with countries such as South Africa, Namibia and Botswana, Africa produces a large percentage of the world’s diamonds. In fact, Africa produces more than two-thirds of the world’s diamonds!
The main countries that diamond mines are found in are Botswana, Angola, South Africa, the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Namibia and Zimbabwe. Africa has a wide variety of diamonds with different colours, clarities and sizes. South Africa is famous for its white diamonds but Africa also produces yellow, rose, blue and champagne diamonds.
The African continent is also rich in gold and this is why diamond mining is often combined with gold mining operations. In fact, Africa is the world’s largest producer of gold.
By the 1860s, missionary work had begun in earnest by the Dutch Reformed Church, the Church of England, and the Roman Catholic Church (South Africa: Missionaries: Nineteeth Century, 2004). Thirty years later saw a more diverse range of groups such as the Salvation Army and African American missions from churches like the African Methodist Episcopal Church and National Baptist Convention working within South Africa.
The Presbyterians arrived in 1876, and the Methodists in 1882. The first large scale diamond mining operation was established at Kimberly in 1871 (Keller, 1971: 30-32). The De Beers Company, founded by Cecil Rhodes and Charles Rudd in 1888, took control of most diamond mines in South Africa. In 1889, diamonds were discovered on the banks of the Orange River, and prospectors soon began working in alluvial deposits. By the end of the nineteenth century, South Africa had become the main source of world production (Flinn, 1961:184).
Today, Africa is still an important player in the global diamond market. According to the Kimberley Process Certification Scheme (KPCS), Africa accounts for approximately 30% of global rough diamond production ( Kimberley Process Certification Scheme, 2013). Africa is also home to some of the world’s largest diamond mines. These include Orapa mine in Botswana, Jwaneng mine in Botswana, Venetia mine in South Africa and Morila mine in Mali (The world’s top 10 biggest diamond mines, 2013).
The Orapa mine is the largest diamond mine in the world, located in Orapa town, Boteti Sub-District, Central District of Botswana. The open pit mine was estimated to contain 113.4Mct of probable reserves as of December 2012. It produced 14.061 carats of diamonds during the fiscal year ended June 2013.
The Jwaneng diamond mine is located in the south-eastern part of Botswana, about 160 miles (260km) southwest of the capital city Gaborone. Discovered in 1972, it is presently owned and operated by Debswana, a partnership between the Government of Botswana and The De Beers Group of Companies. Jwaneng started production in 1982 as an open pit mine, but underground mining operations began in 2011. As per Debswana’s annual report for the fiscal year 2012, the mine contained 97.4 million carats (mtc) of probable reserves.
The Venetia mine is located 80km from Musina, in Limpopo Province, South Africa. Venetia is the largest diamond producing mine in South Africa and the fifth biggest diamond mine in the world by reserve size. It produced 4.2Mct of diamonds in 2012. The deposit comprises 90% pipe ore and 10% alluvial gravels.
The Morila gold mine is located in southern Mali, approximately 280km southeast of Bamako, the capital city of Mali. It is operated by Randgold Resources and Morila Gold Holdings (a joint venture between Anglogold Ashanti and Randgold). The mine started production in October 2000 with an investment of $120m. As of December 2012, it had probable reserves of 9.73 million ounces (Moz) of gold grading 5.87g/t. Morila gold mine produced 146,000oz of gold in 2012.
Africa is a major producer of diamonds and Africa diamond mines are some of the richest in the world. Africa is also home to many of the largest diamond mines such as Orapa mine in Botswana, Jwaneng mine in Botswana, Venetia mine in South Africa and Morila mine in Mali (The world’s top 10 biggest diamond mines, 2013). These African diamond mines produce some of the highest quality diamonds in the world. Africa is also an important player in the global diamond market, accounting for approximately 30% of global rough diamond production ( Kimberley Process Certification Scheme, 2013).