The Mir Mine is one of the famous open pit diamond mines in the entire world. It is located in Mirny, Eastern Siberia in Russia, and is approximately 1,722 feet deep, which makes it the fourth largest diamond mine in the world in terms of depth. In addition to that, the Mir Mine in Russia is also the world’s second largest excavated hole right after the Bingham Canyon Mine.
Large deposits of diamonds were found in this Russian mine in the early 1990’s and it had million carats of diamond reserve at that time. However, the mine was suddenly closed in 2004. The officials said that they have gone too deep and even stated that it led to a flood in the mine. However, many alternative theories suggested by diamond dealers and conspiracy seekers still float around the web.
Regardless, below are some of the fascinating things you should know about the Mir Mine.
The diamond-bearing deposits in the small town of Mirny were initially discovered by the Soviet geologists, Viktor Avdeenko, Ekaterina Elagina, and Yuri Khabardin on June 13, 1955. The group of Soviet geologists stumbled upon the diamond-bearing deposits during their Amakinsky Expedition in Yakut, ASSR. They had found traces of the volcanic rock kimberlite, which is commonly associated with diamonds. The order to build the Mirny mine was issued by Stalin in 1957.
The Frozen Ground
The development of the open-pit diamond mine began in the year 1957 in harsh and difficult climate conditions. The winter season that lasted for seven months froze the ground, which in turn made diamond mining very difficult. The ground started to become slush during the summer months, which urged officials to construct the main processing plant approximately 20 km away from the Russian diamond mine. The temperature in the town of Mirny was so low that steel and car tires would often shatter and oil would freeze.
Reports from several reliable sources claim that the Mir Mine was producing approximately 2,000 kilograms or 10,000,000 carats of diamonds every single year. Nearly 20 percent of these diamonds were of gem quality. The large diamond found in the mine was named “26th Congress of the CPSU” and it weighed around 342.5 carats. Even though the mine operation was interrupted for a short period in the 1990’s, authorities resumed operation just a couple of months later after due inspection.