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Inside Russia’s Diamond Mines


Mirny diamond mineIn the far north-east of Russia, a whole town of people dedicates their working lives to finding diamonds. Russia is the world's largest producer of diamonds by volume and Mirny is its ‘diamond capital'. 

Mirny is so remote that the people here refer to the rest of Russia as ‘the mainland.'

Located in Russia's far northeast, 4,000 km from Moscow, the main route in and out is via aircraft. In winter, when temperatures can drop to below -50 degrees centigrade, ice roads appear allowing supplies to be brought in overland. 

The town itself is built around a giant hole in the ground. It is probably Mirny's most distinguishing feature. Diamonds were discovered here in the 1950s and as the diamond mine grew, so did the town around it. The city has primarily been financed from the proceeds of the quarry - which grew to be 1.2km wide and 525m deep.

It is a remote, inhospitable place. Until June this year there was still snow on the ground. "In Mirny, for ten months of the year, it is winter."

The attraction here is definitely not the climate or the location, but the higher wages which attract people from other Russian regions and former Soviet states.

Click here to read the entire article with photos and video of life at Russia's diamond mines.


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Antwerp Diamonds

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