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Article: Murowa diamond mine

Murowa diamond mine

Geology and Formation

  • Murowa diamond mine consists of three north-trending kimberlite pipes.
  • The kimberlites have been dated at 500 million years old.
  • The kimberlite pipes are intrusive into the Chivi suite granites of the Zimbabwe Craton.
  • The geology of the deposit plays a significant role in the formation of diamonds.
  • The deposit's geological characteristics contribute to its economic feasibility.

History and Development

  • Possibilities of Murowa diamond mine were first realized in 1997 with the discovery of three diamond-bearing kimberlite pipes.
  • Construction of mine facilities was completed in late 2004.
  • The mine required the forced relocation of 926 people living on the site to six purchased farms.
  • Limited mining operations began in 2004, with full capacity expected in 2005.
  • Permitting problems have slowed progress toward full-scale production.

Ownership and Operations

  • The Murowa diamond mine is majority owned and operated by the Rio Tinto Group.
  • Rio Tinto Group also owns the Argyle diamond mine in Australia and part of the Diavik Diamond Mine in Canada.
  • Rio Tinto Group is a major player in the diamond mining industry.
  • The ownership structure of the mine affects its operations and decision-making processes.
  • The Rio Tinto Group has invested significant capital in the Murowa diamond mine.

Production and Reserves

  • The mine is a combination of open pit and underground construction.
  • Construction costs for the mine were estimated at $61 million USD.
  • Current estimates of mine reserves are 19 million tonnes of ore.
  • The ore grade is approximately 0.9 carats (180mg) per tonne.
  • Full-scale production is expected to process 200,000 tonnes of ore annually.

Economic Outlook and Impact

  • Over the life of the mine, prices for the Murowa's production are estimated to average $65 USD per carat.
  • The economic viability of the mine depends on the market demand and diamond prices.
  • Further capital investment could potentially increase production to one million tonnes annually.
  • The mine's economic impact extends beyond the local community to the national and global diamond industry.
  • Economic factors influence the decision-making processes and future development of the mine.

Murowa diamond mine Data Sources

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