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The Largest Diamond Mining Companies In The World, And What They Do

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The Largest Diamond Mining Companies In The World, And What They Do

Key Points

  • Diamond mining companies mine rough diamonds out of the earth to be sorted, polished, cut, and sold worldwide.
  • Diamonds are precious gemstones made of carbon and are the most valuable per carat of all the gemstones.
  • The largest diamond mining company in the world is Anglo-American, at 515 billion.

From time immemorial, diamonds have been considered one of the most precious minerals in the world. Today, they are used across numerous industries, increasing the mineral’s importance globally.

For most people, the mention of diamonds causes a rush of blood as they think of the precious rock in its refined form. They may picture the pink star diamond, Koh-i-Nor, or those different-sized expensive rocks that embellish engagement rings.

However, the mineral’s uses extend beyond that. It is used for industrial purposes to cut and drill materials due to its hard nature and is incorporated into various electrical equipment.

The diamond industry brings together a lot of players who mine, sort, produce, and distribute the mineral. This includes large corporations that have immensely profited from diamond mining. These companies have made billions in revenue from the booming industry with meticulous management and operations.

You may be curious to know the big players in the diamond industry. Well, in this article, we present you with 10 of the largest diamond mining companies in the world based on their annual revenue. Take a look!

#10: Gem Diamonds – $104.5 million

Starting off our list of the largest diamond mining companies in the world is a British-based company with operations across the globe.

Gem Diamonds was established in 2006 by Clifford Elphick, who sought to make a profit out of the growing diamond business. As the company’s name suggests, Gem Diamonds specializes in producing quality diamonds with exorbitant value.

The company has since acquired the Letseng Diamond mine in Lesotho and expanded its mining and exploration operations in Botswana. The mining escapades have been quite successful as the company boasts of discovering five of the largest gem-quality diamonds in the world, including the Lesotho Legend, a 910-carat gem-quality diamond mined in 2006.

To this day, the diamond is the fifth largest gem-quality diamond ever mined. Most of Gem Diamond’s products are sold and distributed to Graff Diamonds, which has earned the company considerable profit.

Listed on the London Stock exchange, Gem Diamonds made $104.5 million in revenue in 2021, earning its place as one of the world’s leading diamond mining and distribution companies.

#9: Lucara Diamond – $230 million

The following company on our list of the largest diamond mining companies is a Canadian corporation specializing in mining and exploring precious minerals.

Lucara Diamond was founded in 2009 by two Canadian mining executives, Catherine McLeod-Seltzer, and their Swedish-Canadian billionaire counterpart Lukas Lundin. The company started its mining and mineral exploration operation in South Africa and has been steadily expanding since its establishment over a decade ago.

When founded in 2009, Lucara Diamonds owned 40% of the AK6 kimberlite project, currently known as the Karowe diamond mine. After a year, the company’s rapid expansion accredited to favorable revenue enabled it to acquire 100% of the mine, building its name as one of the leading producers of high-quality Type IIA diamonds.

The company’s expansion included other operations, such as the Mothae diamond project in Lesotho, which considerably contributed to the enterprise’s profits.

Save for diamond mining and exploration, Lucara Diamonds owns a digital sales platform, Clara Diamond Solutions, which modernizes the diamond supply chain. The software ensures a clear record of the precious mineral from the mines until its refined form hits the market.

Lucara Diamond’s various ventures in the diamond industry have indeed paid off since its establishment, given its steady growth. In 2021, the company recorded $230 million in revenue from its operations, which is quite impressive since it is a relatively new player in the industry.

#8: Petra Diamonds – $585.2 million

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Historically, Petra Diamonds was one of the world’s most prolific mines.

Adonis Pouroulis founded Petra Diamonds in 1997. The company was listed on the Alternative Investment Market within the same year. With Kimberlite’s discoveries in Angola in 1998, and its joint venture with BHP Billiton in 2004, Petra Diamonds has grown significantly over the years.

Specifically, from a market capitalization of below £10 million to a leading independent diamond group. The company is listed on the London Stock Exchange’s Main Market under the ticker “PDL.” 

The independent diamond company is involved in the exploration, mining, and sale of rough diamonds. Some of the mines in Petra Diamonds’ portfolio include Cullinan, Koffiefontein, Finsch, and Reivilio in South Africa and Williamson in Tanzania.

In the fiscal year 2021, the company rose by 65% to $402.3 million, brought about by the sales of exceptional stones, which contributed $62 million. In 2022, despite the company selling 11% fewer diamonds than the previous year, it experienced a 44% increase in revenue, to $585.2 million.

The increase was brought about by higher prices of gems, an increase in exceptional stones, and an all-time higher demand for stones and jewelry in the United States. 

#7: Artic Canadian Diamond Company Ltd. – $627 million

Artic Canadian Diamond Company Ltd. was formed on April 19, 1994, under Aber Resources Ltd. The company has changed names several times to Harry Winston Diamond Corporation, Dominion Diamond Corporation, and Dominion Diamond Mines.

The company started mining following the discovery of the Diavik Diamond Mine in 1994, with rough diamond production beginning in January 2003 and sales in March of the same year.

In 2004 Aber Resources Ltd. acquired a 51% stake in Harry Winston Inc. before achieving 100% ownership two years later. The company changed its name to Harry Winston Diamond Corporation and was listed on the New York Stock Exchange.

In 2012, Aber Resources Ltd. entered a purchase agreement with BHP Billiton’s diamond assets and acquired its controlling assets in the Ekati Diamond Mine, sorting and sales facilities in Yellowknife, Northwest Territories, and Antwerp in Belgium. 

The controlling interests gained led to a new name Dominion Diamond Corporation then Dominion Diamond Mines after it became part of the Washington Companies. The Artic Canadian Company Ltd. then acquired Ekati, hence the current name. 

At the end of 2021, the company’s revenues increased by 43% to a 23.6million, closing the year in an excellent position. The business essentials began to improve, the capital structure strengthened, and revenue increased.

#6: Okavango Diamond – $963 million

Okavango Company was established in 2012 as part of the Botswana government’s plan to market and distribute diamonds mined in the country. It is wholly owned by the government, giving the company access to a wide range of resources.

If you are a diamond enthusiast, you have probably heard about the Okavango Blue Diamond. It is a renowned, dazzling, nearly flawless 20.64-carat diamond mined in the Orapa Mine in Botswana. With its exceptional size and quality, thousands of people throng the Melissa and Keith Meister Gallery in the American Museum of Natural History to marvel at the diamond’s beauty.

Although Okavango Diamond owns a unique gem-quality diamond, the company specializes in the distribution of rough diamonds in the market, whose demand has steadily risen over the years. This growing need for rough diamonds in crucial markets such as the United States has immensely contributed to the company’s growth.

As various international companies fought to shake off the devastating effects of Covid restrictions, fighting to take advantage of tax credits, Okavango Diamond recorded an all-time high revenue at $963 million.

In light of the rising rough diamond prices, Okavango diamonds are set to record significant strides in the diamond mining industry. It will surely cement its place as one of the largest diamond companies in the world, with its revenue hitting the billion-dollar mark in the future.

#5: Debswana Diamond Company – $3.466 billion

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Debswana is the world’s leading producer of diamonds by value.

Debswana Diamond Company was started in 1969 as the De Beers Botswana Mining Company. This was after geologists discovered rough diamond deposits in Orapa. 

The company is famed for being the world’s leading contributor of diamonds in value and volume. The company operates mines in Orapa, Jwaneng, Damtshaa, and Letlhakane. Due to its importance in contributing to the country’s GDP and economic benefits, the government owns and controls equal shares with the De Beers Group of companies.

De Beers Group, established in 1888, is a member of Anglo American plc. Group and is the world’s largest diamond producer by value.

Preliminary figures show that diamond sales were up by 60% in 2021. The increase in sales was because of the impressive recovery in demand for rough diamonds due to the relaxation of movement restrictions in key consumer markets.

Jwaneng Mine, the world’s richest mine by value, was majorly responsible for the rise experienced as it was the most significant revenue contributor. According to the Bank of Botswana, the company sales improved by 54% in the first half of 2022 due to the high demand for diamond jewelry in U.S. markets. 

#4: De Beers – $3.6 billion

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De Beers is based in London, UK.

Making it to fourth place on our list is a corporation that dates back to 1888. It is one of the few companies in the diamond industry whose operations extend to all sections of the business.

De Beers is an international company founded 134 years ago by Cecil Rhodes, a renowned British businessman. He received financial aid from Alfred Beit, a South African diamond magnate, and the N. M. Rothschild & Sons bank based in London.

With this robust financing, De Beers embarked on its diamond mining and exploration business in South Africa. Consequently, it made its way into the international diamond business with a bang.

The company currently specializes in an array of diamond-related activities. De Beers operates in diamond sourcing, mining, trading, retailing, and manufacturing industrial diamonds through its numerous subsidiaries.

These operations are spread across 35 countries. However, diamond mining is done primarily in Australia, Namibia, Botswana, South Africa, and Canada. Due to its long history in the diamond business, De Beers’ influence in the industry is unmatched.

The company controlled over 80% of the world’s rough diamond market for over a century after its establishment. The company’s place as the largest diamond company is no surprise.

At the start of the new millennium, emerging diamond mining and distribution players dismantled De Beers’ monopoly. As a result, the company’s influence faded daily. However, the international company still makes millions in profit each fiscal year. Recently, it closed the 2021 fiscal year with $3.6 billion in revenue.

#3: ALROSA – $4.2 billion

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Alrosa is a Russian group of diamond mining companies.

Getting to the top three of any listed rankings is always exciting. Well, without wasting the drumrolls, the third on our list of world mining companies is ALROSA, a group of Russian companies with a range of specializations in the industry.

The company’s history in diamond mining began in 1954 when diamond ore deposits were discovered in the Soviet Union. One of the company’s conglomerates was authorized to commence mining activities in 1957.

However, it was not until 1992 that ALROSA was established as a state-owned diamond mining company through a presidential decree. Since its establishment, ALROSA has established itself as a powerhouse in the diamond business. In addition, its operations run across various facets of the industry.

The companies explore, mine, manufacture, and distribute diamonds worldwide. It prides itself on being the company that mines the most volume of diamonds in the world. Despite being a state-owned company, ALROSA’s mining operations are not restricted to Russian territories.

The company’s operations extend to Africa, where it conducts diamond mining and exploration in the Catoca kimberlite pipe in Angola. The vast diamond-related operations conducted by ALROSA have also earned it a reputation in the diamond business and billions in revenue.

At the end of 2021, the state-owned corporation had amassed $4.2 billion in revenue. These numbers are set to rise as the company expands its diamond mining to Zimbabwe, which recently discovered 22 new diamond deposits.

#2: Rio Tinto Group- $44.6 billion

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Rio Tinto focuses on finding, mining, and processing the Earth’s mineral resources.

In 1873, the Spanish government, overrun by political and financial crises, could not manage its mineral-rich mines along the Rio Tinto. They opted to sell them and relinquish any royalties claim to their proceeds.

Hugh Matheson, a Scottish industrialist, took advantage of this deal and led a purchase bid through his company, Matheson and Company, in conjunction with Clark, Punchard, and Company, an engineering firm.

After a successful purchase, Matheson and his counterparts formed the Rio Tinto Company to start mining operations. They set up several processing plants, innovated effective mining techniques, and maximized mining activities, taking the industry by storm.

Rio Tinto’s operations include extracting, processing, and distributing various ores, including iron, copper, aluminum, lithium, uranium, and diamonds.

Although Rio Tinto has various mining-related endeavors, the company’s diamond business is superior to most players in the market. It is a global leader in the mining, production, and distribution of rough diamonds, with mines spread across three continents.

The company operates the Diavik Diamond Mine in Canada, the Argyle Diamond Mine in Australia, and the Murowa mine in Zimbabwe. These three mines account for 20% of global diamond production annually, making it the third largest diamond producer in the world.

Rio Tinto’s substantial diamond operations, coupled with its endeavors in other fields, earned the company $44.6 billion in revenue, earning the second position on our list.

#1: Anglo-American – $515 billion

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Anglo American is the world’s largest producer of platinum.

The largest diamond mining company currently is Anglo-American, a multinational mining corporation with its headquarters in London, which oversees its worldwide operations.

Anglo American was founded in 1917 by Sir Ernest Oppenheimer of South Africa, who enjoyed financial backing from J.P. Morgan, an American bank, and other sources from the United Kingdom. The company’s name reflects the company’s initial source of funding.

Anglo-American’s portfolio in the mining industry is spread across various minerals, as it explores, extracts, produces, and distributes diamonds, copper, iron, and platinum, among others. Most of the company’s mined ores are used to make smartphone parts, mobile chips, and various other modern devices.

In the diamond industry, Anglo American profit from mining, producing, and distributing the precious mineral through its conglomerates. The company is a majority shareholder of De Beers, a leading diamond mining company, with an 85% stake in the corporation.

Similarly, to extend its influence in the diamond industry, Anglo American established Boart International to capitalize on mining low-grade natural diamonds and their processing into cutting and abrasive tools.

These numerous endeavors have, without a doubt, earned Anglo-American considerable profits as it maintains its position as the largest diamond company in the world, with billions of dollars in revenue to its name.

The 10 Largest Diamond Mining Companies In The World: Summary

RankCompany
1.Anglo-American – $515 billion
2.Rio-Tinto – $44.6 billion
3.ALROSA – $4.2 billion
4.De Beers – $3.6 billion
5.Debswan – $3.466 billion
6.Okavango – $963 million
7.Petra Diamond – $585 million
8.Dominion Diamond – $627 million
9.Lucara Diamonds – $230 million
10.Gem Diamonds – $104.5 million

Up Next

Frequently Asked Questions

Which is the oldest diamond mining company?

De Beers is the oldest diamond mining company in the world, with over 134 years in the business. The company was formed in 1888 by Cecil Rhodes, a British businessman. The company is still relevant in the diamond industry, with operations across the globe.

Who owns the largest diamond mine in the world?

The largest diamond mine in the world is the Orapa diamond mine, located in Botswana. It was discovered in 1971 and is owned by a joint partnership between the government of Botswana and De Beers, a leading corporation in diamond mining.

Which is the richest diamond mine in the world?

Jwaneng diamond mine is the richest diamond mine in the world. Although the mine does not match some larger ones, it produces the highest quality diamonds, averaging 12 million carats a year.

Which company supplies the most diamonds?

ALROSA, a Russian state-owned company, currently distributes 28% of the world’s diamonds. De Beers comes in a close second, accounting for 27.5%.

Where are most diamond mines found?

Most diamond mines are located in Russia, with over 12 open pit mines. You may be surprised to know the diamond mines in Russia were discovered later than in other countries.

What is the value of the global diamond jewelry market?

The global market value of diamond jewelry was estimated at $79 billion as of 2019. The value is only an estimate as the market cap is affected by market forces.

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