The 10 MOST VALUABLE Diamond Mines in the World (by Reserves)

The 10 MOST VALUABLE Diamond Mines in the World (by Reserves)

Diamond mining is one of the most prestigious and profitable industries in the world. The ten largest diamond mines in the world by measurable reserves contain more than one billion carats of recoverable diamonds, and this naturally translates into many billions of dollars. It’s thus intriguing to look at how these carats are distributed.

10. Botuobinskaya – 69.3 million carats

Botuobinskaya diamond mine is owned by Nyurba Mining, a division of Alrosa. Located in Nakyn, Russia, Botuobinskaya has reserves of 69.3 million carats, and is an extremely recent find, as it only began operating in 2015. It is expected to produce 1.5 million carats of diamonds annually over the next 40 years.

most_valuable_diamond_mine9. Venetia – 71.8 million carats

Venetia is one of the most important diamond mines for the infamous De Beers company. Situated 80 kilometers from Musina in Limpopo Province, the Venetia mine is the largest diamond producer in South Africa, with 4 million carats being churned out by this diamond mine on an annual basis. Venetia is current a conventional open-pit mine, but work is underway to convert it to an underground project in the coming years.


8. Grib – 91.5 million carats

Arkhangelsk Oblast is the memorably named setting for the Grib mine; another huge diamond producer. The mine is named after Vladimir Grib, a post-graduate member of the exploration team, who unfortunately passed away before the mine became operable. The Grib diamond mine seriously rivals Venetia as the biggest producer in the world, being responsible for 3.8 million carats annually, with plans afoot to extend this further still.

7. Argyle – 93.1 million carats

One of the most important diamond mines in the world during its lifespan, the Argyle mine located in the East Kimberley region in the remote north of Western Australia is on its last legs. By the end of the decade, this hugely prolific pit will be closed down permanently, due to the low proportion of quality gemstones that it is yielding. Still, the Argyle mine remains one of the world’s biggest diamond producers, and still has an impressive reserve of 93.1 million carats, despite its imminent demise.


6. Mir (Mirny) – 97.4 million carats

This particular diamond mine – often referred to in Russia as Mirny – can be considered an enigmatic and mysterious addition to this list. Located in the darkest depths of Siberia, the Mir diamond mine represents a gigantic hole right in the middle of an otherwise humdrum town. And this hole is worth a cent or two, as the Mir mine is reckoned to have reserves of 97.4 million carats.


5. Udachny – 108 million carats

We’re in the 100 million carat club now. Udachny is one of the largest producer of diamonds in the world, combining open-pit and underground technology. The facility peaked in the 1990s, but remains hugely prolific today. Located near the town of Udachny in the Sakha Republic region of Russia, Udachny is owned by the Alrosa Mining company. Udachny is also notable for being one of the ten deepest open mines anywhere in the world[6].

4. Catoca – 110 million carats

Located near Saurimo in the Lunda Sul province of Angola, Catoca is one of the most important African diamond mines outside of South Africa. Responsible for reserves of some 110 million carats, Catoca was first successfully mined back in 1998. Geological testing indicates that this mine should survive for another 40 years of excavation. In the meantime, the mine currently generates around $200 million of revenue on an annual basis for Angola’s state-run mining company, Endiama.

3. Jubilee – 125.4 million carats

In production since 1986, the Jubilee diamond mine is unquestionably one of the most important anywhere in the world. With a reserve in excess of 125 million carats[8], this Russian pit is currently worked by the state-owned Alrosa. Production at the site is around 6 million carats annually, so Jubilee still has a decent working life remaining. Jubilee is also set to become the deepest diamond mine in the world, once reconstruction extends its excavation to 700 meters.


2. Jwaneng – 149.1 million carats

The Jwaneng diamond mine was considered by CNN to be the world’s richest in 2015[9], but its reserves are now marginally exceeded by Orapa. Nonetheless, this Botswana-based pit remains one of the most important diamond mines on the planet. The site of Jwaneng mine also comprises the Jwana Game Park, which is involved with cheetah conservation in the African nation. Jwaneng is renowned for the quality of diamonds that it excavates, while the site has also been garlanded with numerous national and international safety awards.


1. Orapa – 151.4 million carats

This vast site, the largest diamond mine by surface area, comes top of the list for sheer value of diamonds present within it. Located in the Central District of Botswana, Orapa is is owned by Debswana; a partnership between the De Beers company and the government of Botswana. This resource features a volcanic pipe, and yields 12 million carats of diamonds every year. The depth of mine is expected to nearly double by 2026[10], and the hugely successful Orapa site shows no imminent signs of slowing down.


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  2. (2011). The 10 Richest Diamond Mines in the World Today.
  3. (2017). Production at Grib Diamond Mine to Increase 16%, Sales To Follow.
  4. (2018). The world’s top 10 diamond mines – Part 1.
  5. Laniado, E. (2016). Top 10 Largest Diamond Mines by Diamond Reserve.
  6. (2018). Udachny Diamond Mine.
  7. (2018). Catoca Diamond Mine.
  8. (2018). Mines in Russia.
  9. Guest, P. (2015). Inside the world’s richest diamond mine.
  10. (2018). Orapa: The largest open-pit diamond mine in the world.