Monday, June 7, 2010


All in all, the diamond process is a long journey, much like all journeys, it has a beginning and and end. This one in particular starts at the formation of our Earth. High temperatures with huge amounts of pressure started the formation of diamonds, now well over 4.2 billion years later, this planet still has an abundant source of untapped reserves.

The extraction starts with mining, and ends with consumers buying the products, whether its for jewellery or for industrial purposes. Either way, the diamond is carried along from the toughened ground, towards us as people.

After nearly 800 years of mining diamonds constantly, if we can still produce at this rate, and expect to be continually producing for this rate for , this seems like a very, viable source of mining diamonds.

The company I chose, Diavik Diamonds, is one a leader in workplace safety and has standards that are impressive in every factor.

This is easily a very sustainable resource, and will be available for generations.
Equitability wise, the trade and labour areas of Diavik Diamonds are very fair.

*May be subject to changes*

The Solution!

Obviously everything can be fixed up a little. Using different power sources, different fuels, everything can be modified to help the world in a positive way. Now mining, there are some very low impact ways to mine for gems and minerals, but when it comes to being in solid ground digging downwards into an extinct volcano... Well that might be a little tough to use those methods.

Since they are drilling so deep, they sometimes (quite a bit actually) have to resort to explosives to keep their open pit mining open I guess. So Diavik Diamonds has decided that with the aid of $800,000,000 dollars they will begin to turn their mines into underground mines. Meaning they will dig underground in a specific, properly planned area down and around the kimberlite pipes.

Now they could focus on lowering emissions and being more Eco-friendly. Switching to solar panels for their buildings, bio-diesel fuels for some machinery, and maybe toss in some of the easily expendable eight hundred million dollars into being able to make less of an impact on the "grid" as so many people call it.

There are many ways to change things to make them better, as I see it, Diavik Diamonds is a great company. They operate in Canada, so their wages are fair, work and labour hours are fair. Every shipment of diamonds has to be conflict free followed with a certificate showing just that. It seems good to me.

Everything needs change, everything will change eventually, Diavik is completely changing their mining process in order to have higher grade diamonds, and less explosions...

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Diamond Equitability

Since governments started to enforce the Kimberley Process (A new law in which diamonds may only be traded within certain countries if they have certified diamonds), the amount of conflict-free diamonds have raised to 99%. Though only the countries that are involved in the process need to have certificates for their diamonds, that means that anyone not from the group can still export diamonds that have been taken through... violent means.

As a resource I think that the steps people have made to making it a more suitable, strong-footed industry are actually working. Mines are becoming more and more safe, since there are regulatory laws and inspections it would lead me to believe people are being treated properly and paid properly in foreign countries.
*May be subject to changes*
The picture here is one of the Kimberley certificates that need to be with any diamonds exported within a certain group of countries. This is to prove that the diamonds were conflict free from extraction to exporting.

Diamonds Sustainability!

Things aren't always as they seem. People make some things that are terrible, sound completely justified. The KKK know exactly how to do that. But the diamond market is something different, Diavik Diamonds operates in Canada, that means proper hours, well conditioned work areas, safe workplaces. They don't have to manipulate the truth to make it better. They can just tell it as is.
The diamonds are of good quality, there isn't any cooperation issues, it seems sturdy enough to be a four on the charts (5 being amazing, 1 being absolutely brutal).
We've been adorning ourselves with jewellery for well over 10,000 years now. I'd say that’s a VERY sustainable resource, the first real signs of diamonds themselves started showing up in the early 13th century (most likely around Saint Louis' time, 1214-1270).
*May be subject to changes*
So diamonds are easily a lasting resource, since there are so many mines, and so many kimberlite pipes, I don't see a chance of the diamond industry running dry for a very long time. The picture above has a machine carrying 1,500,000 tonnes of ore from a diamond mine.

Diamond Disposal

How you dispose of a diamond depends on how it was used. If it was used for industrial purposes, you would have most likely ground it down over time so it would be reduced to dust. That dust can be put through a cycle that restructures them and makes synthetic diamonds.
Now if you had a jewelled diamond, then you can ether: re-cut it, resell it, have it reset in another piece, or pass it along to someone else. Since they are cut into such small gems it would be too hard to find another purpose for it other than jewellery.

*May be subject to changes*
The person above is starting the mundane task of resetting a diamond. Thats the process in which the jewelers take the diamonds out of an original or already redone setting and place it into a newer one to fit the needs of the person, perhaps it was passed down and the ring was to small, or maybe they had a different design in mind. All in all... that job would suck.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Diamond Consumption

Diavik is owned by Rio Tinto (60%) and Harry Winston Diamond Corporation (40%). It is linked with two other major mining companies. After production, distribution and all of that, the consumers are the one's who are buying the finished product from the company. I'm going to trace this next part off of Argyle. They are the largest champagne diamond producers in the world, you can either buy them online or at selected retailers.
You buy the diamonds, they ship them off towards you. You wear them and feel fashionable... consumption complete.

*May be subject to changes*
So think about this, how many people do you know that are engaged? Well ten percent of all Americans are engaged yearly on Valentines day. There are ALOT of rings sold yearly. That's 30,000,000 MILLION people getting engaged in one day just in the U.S.

Friday, April 23, 2010

Diamond Distribution

Diavik Diamonds ships out roughly 8,000,000 carats of rough diamonds yearly, with 20,000,000 tons of ore in reserve the mine is expected to last well past 2020 and has some of the highest grade pipes in the world. They've also got their own Boeing landing/take off strip for importing and exporting goods. After being bought and cut through Canadian Diamonds (just one example) they are sold throughout the world by the clients request. Canadian Diamonds then tries to find the lowest costing, highest grade diamond to meet their needs.

*May be subject to changes*
Since it would be extremely hard to find eight million carats of rough diamonds in one place, I snagged a picture of only a few hundred to a thousand carats. This image represents a VERY downscaled idea of what that massive number would look like.