There’s a new number one .. and it’s not in Africa
Tens of millions of carats are mined every year across the world, that’s a lot of diamonds. The total value of all those diamonds is in the billions of dollars Obviously diamond production is big business and that means wherever diamonds are found there is a big incentive to mine them.
Are most diamonds mined in Africa?
Throughout history central and southern African countries have produced a large majority of the world’s diamonds. However that is changing rapidly due to some very large discoveries in other countries. In fact, the top two diamond producing countries aren’t in Africa. Below are the latest numbers from the Kimberley Process, the organization created to stem the flow of conflict diamonds. It offers an annual report from its member countries.
Ok, be honest, how many of these did you guess before looking at the list? This author knew about 5 but I was shocked that Russia is the top producer of diamonds in the world. That wasn’t the case in 2008, Russia was way behind Botswana, $2.51 billion compared with $3.27 billion.
Another big surprise was that South Africa isn’t among the top 3. It just shows you that Russia & Canada have come on strong in recent years.
If you love pouring over statistics then you should definitely visit the website of the Kimberley Process. You can see all the raw data. Here’s a direct link to the Annual Global Summary: 2009 Production, Imports, Exports and KPC Counts. You can also compare the numbers to 2008 and you’ll notice some big changes.
See if you can guess how many countries produce diamonds by clicking here .. What countries do diamonds come from?
Concern over Conflict Diamonds
Any story about diamond production would be remiss not to bring up the ever present issue of conflict diamonds. (A conflict diamond is also known as a blood diamond) The Kimberley Process, as mentioned above, was created to stop the practice of diamonds being used to fuel conflict and civil wars in Africa. Russia & Canada have been on the forefront of creating even strict policies and government checks on the diamond mining industries in their countries. It is very interesting that they are now the largest diamond producing countries in the world. Learn more about the UN definition of a Conflict Diamond & learn more about the UN’s efforts.
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