Open Pit Mining

Trucks bringing ore back to be processed at Jwaneng open pit mine in Botswana Trucks bringing ore back to be processed at Jwaneng open pit mine in Botswana

Of all the methods we use to recover diamonds, open-pit mining is the most common. We use open-pit mining when diamond ore appears near the surface or is covered by a relatively thin layer of sand, cinder or gravel.

Once the ore has been exposed, we break it up before taking it to be processed.

Our open-pit mines - in Botswana, Canada and South Africa - are impressive feats of engineering, traversed by a variety of Earth moving machinery, hydraulic shovels and  trucks with 250 tonne payloads. The layout of each mine depends on the size and shape of the diamond deposit as well as the characteristics of the host rock. When an open-pit mine reaches a certain depth, we may continue to mine the kimberlite pipe by constructing an underground mine.

An aerial view of Jwaneng Mine