Top 5 Diamond-Producing Countries in Africa

Diamonds are one of Africa’s most lucrative natural resources. For many years, they have contributed immensely to the economic sustenance of its few diamond-producing countries.

While this resource continues to generate wealth for the continent, it has certainly cost many lives in the process. Some people even call it the blood diamond, associating it with some of the never-ending civil conflicts in Africa.

For better or for worse, in prosperity or in war, here are the top diamond-producing countries in Africa.

Botswana
Botswana is home to world’s richest diamond mines, including the Jwaneng Diamond Mine, Orapa Mine and Damtshaa Mine. Located right in the middle of Kalahari Desert, Jwaneng Diamond Mine is estimated to produce 2,200 kilograms of diamond every year. Its plentiful deposits and the excellent quality of its stones make it the most rewarding diamond mine in the world. In total, Botswana produces at least 25 million carats per year.
Top 5 Diamond-Producing Countries in Africa
Democratic Republic of Congo
Despite the negative image of war and modern-day slavery at its diamond mines, the Democratic Republic of Congo still remains one of the top diamond-producing countries in Africa and the world at large. Currently, DRC is ranked the third largest diamond-producing country by volume. Congo has only one commercial diamond miner, Miniere de Bakwange. The rest of its production is done by informal entities. Its total production is estimated to be 15.7 million carats annually.

South Africa

For more than a century, diamond mining has been the major economic driving force in South Africa, dating back to 1867 when diamonds were first discovered on the shores of River Orange. South Africa’s diamonds come in a round, dodecahedral shape, white in color and high in quality. At the moment, South Africa produces over 9 million carats per year.

Angola
With over 7 million carats per year, Angola has proved to be one of the most reliable diamond-producing countries in Africa. Much of its diamond reserves are located in Lunda Norte and Lunda Sul provinces. Although Angola has a number of diamond mines, its largest and most important mine is Catoca, which is world’s fourth-largest diamond mine. The country also has several sedimentary mines operated by artisan miners, key among them being the Somiluana mine.

Zimbabwe
Although Zimbabwe boasts several prosperous diamond reserves, only a few of them have proved to be economically feasible. Even so, this sub-Saharan country has continued to produce a significant amount of diamonds, totaling over 6 million carats a year. The country’s major diamond mine is Murowa. The rest of its production comes from alluvial mines mostly operated by foreign-owned companies in Marange. Zimbabwe’s diamonds come in various colors and are typically larger in average size.

While diamonds are one of the most precious gems in the world, it’s unfortunate that some of the above-mentioned diamond producing countries in Africa have continued to lag behind with regard to development, pointing to poor governance and mismanagement of resources.

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