Most people know that natural diamonds are found deep beneath the Earth’s surface. Mines are created to recover these magnificent artifacts, sometimes so large they can be seen from space. What may come as somewhat of a surprise though, is the fact that diamonds can be found beneath the ocean as well!
Millions of years ago, the Orange River carried mass amounts of diamonds from the middle of South Africa and deposited these stones on the bottom of the sea. Although it might sound somewhat far fetched, it is indeed a fact. So much so that the well-known De Beers Company recently started a venture called Debmarine Namibia, as it is a collaborative endeavor between the diamond mining company and the government of Namibia. Ships are currently harvesting diamonds from the ocean floor off of Africa’s Atlantic coast.
How it Works
While natural pearls may be floating around within some salt-water oysters somewhere in middle of the ocean, these ocean diamonds are retrieved from 400 feet below sea level. It might be quite the undertaking, and an expensive one at that, but the rewards speak for themselves.
Seafloor diamonds currently make up 4% of De Beers’ yearly production, which in reality translates into 13% because of their incredibly high quality. The project is entitled to mine a 2,300-square-mile space off the African shores, and so far has only managed to cover 3% of that number.
The saying “you need money to make money,” could not be truer than in the instance of this very exciting and unique venture. De Beers is shoveling buckets of money into this under-the-sea project with an existing ship and another sampling ship in the works, with an overhead of $166 million. This is all being done in hopes of experiencing the success they have been seeing this far all the way down below the deep blue sea. Their efforts are paying off as some of the world’s finest diamonds are being uncovered in the least likely of places.
In an industry that is first and foremost scientific, it is simply electrifying to learn about further sources for diamonds, the way in which they came to be, and how they can be obtained from their newly discovered locations. This discovery is remarkably significant for the diamond-mining world and the diamond industry as one.