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World’s Largest Diamond Mine Outside South Africa Opens

Deep in the Canadian wilds, about 300 kilometres from the nearest city as the crow flies, the world’s largest diamond mine outside of South Africa is being dug.

The Gahcho Kue mine is only accessible by air, except for a few weeks in the dead of winter when trucks may travel across an ice road on the edge of the Arctic Circle.

Its name is derived from a term for “big rabbit” in the local indigenous Chipewyan language.

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It took Johannesburg-based De Beers and its Canadian partner Mountain Province Diamonds nearly 20 years and US$1bn to get the project off the ground.

Some 530 employees using massive trucks and mining equipment now work round the clock in shifts, digging three pits in the Earth’s crust that are visible from space to reveal the diamond-rich kimberlite formations underground.

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Written by PH

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