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