By: April Carson
The Mirny Mine is one of the world's largest man-made holes. It has the potential to trap helicopters (apparently).
In the middle of nowhere, there's a little settlement called Mirny, the only sign of humanity in kilometers around. Only a few full-time residents call Mirny home, all of whom live in a small town constructed on stilts to keep perma-frost flooding their homes in the spring.
The town of Mirny is nothing special, save for one thing. There's a huge hole in the center of the city 1,000 feet deep and half a mile broad that produces an unnatural and perplexing amount of diamonds. Oh, and it also attracts anything that flies over it. The mine is 525 meters deep and has a diameter of 1,200 meters, making it the world's fourth deepest.
The Soviet Hunt For Diamonds In Siberia
During the Cold War, the Soviet Union was still trying to recover from World War II. Since the war had ended, an enormous group of Soviet geologists had been searching the nation for telltale signs of diamonds in the earth.
Finally, three geologists found diamond in the area. While searching for kimberlite in Eastern Siberia, three geologists discovered kimberlite, which suggests diamonds in the region.
In 1957, Stalin ordered the Mirny diamond mine to be built, and work began. This was to be the world's biggest and most successful diamond mine, if room and manpower permitted. However, there were a few issues with the building process.
The ground in Siberia is covered with a thick layer of permafrost for at least seven months out of the year, making it difficult to break through. The permafrost becomes slushy for five months out of the year, making construction nearly impossible.
In addition, the average temperature in the region during the winter is 40 degrees below zero. In fact, car tires shatter and oil freezes as a result of its extreme cold.
Despite the fact that things were tough for them, the Soviets persisted. The engineers used jet engines to thaw the soil, substantial covers to protect equipment from freezing, and dynamite to break through permafrost in order to dig their mine.
The Mirny Diamond Mine Proves Its Value
By 1960, the mine was operational and delivering on the expectations of the geologists.
The Mirny diamond mine produced 10,000,000 carats of diamonds per year throughout the 1960s, 20% of which were gem quality. There were roughly four carats per ton of ore at its height, one of the world's greatest rates. The mine produced the country's largest 342.57-carat fancy lemon yellow diamond, which was discovered in 2012.
During its existence, it generated $13 billion worth of diamonds for other countries.
As the mine's success grew, diamond merchants throughout the world became concerned. The mine was successful, to be sure, but the amount of diamonds it was said to produce appeared too good to be true.
De Beers, the planet's top diamond seller, wanted to know how many diamonds the mine was producing.
To maintain its worldwide hammerlock on market prices, De Beers' standard procedure was to acquire as many diamonds as possible. De Beers executives, on the other hand, were concerned that Mirny mine production rates might be so high that the company wouldn't be able to buy enough diamonds.
Because the mine was tiny in comparison to other underground mines elsewhere, management expected that the output should be considerably lower.
In 1970, De Beers officials requested a tour of the mine to see the operation for themselves. The request was denied in six years, even after the visitors arrived in Mirny. By the time the team members were permitted entry to the mine, they had just 20 minutes to tour the premises, hardly enough time to comprehend anything.
The Mirny diamond mine remained a secret for the next two decades, with millions of dollars' worth of diamonds being produced every year without any visitors allowed in. Even after the dissolution of the USSR, the mine continued to function thanks to several local businesses.
An Unexpected (And Sudden) Closure
In 2004, the mine closed for good after a flood. A flood was said to have occurred, and they had gone too far to mine any more. Conspiracy theorists and diamond brokers, on the other hand, offered alternative explanations.
The Mirny diamond mine's enormous open-air hole is presently empty, but underground diamond research by Russian firm Alrosa continues. Because the depth of the mine is so great, helicopters can be sucked into it and fall to their deaths. When the cool air from the surface meets the heated air from the mines' bowels, a vortex is formed that has been known to suck military helicopters and small planes down into its depths. Several occurrences have been recorded.
In 2010, Russian firm AB Elise announced its intention to build a huge futuristic domed city within the mine that would house over 10,000 people and run on solar power. However, there have been no developments regarding this project.
For the present, the Mirny diamond mine remains a perplexing whirlpool, a seemingly bottomless chasm that produced more than half of the world's diamonds.
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About the Blogger:
April Carson is the daughter of Billy Carson. She received her bachelor's degree in Social Sciences from Jacksonville University, where she was also on the Women's Basketball team. She now has a successful clothing company that specializes in organic baby clothes and other items. Take a look at their most popular fall fashions on bossbabymav.com
To read more of April's blogs, check out her website! She publishes new blogs on a daily basis, including the most helpful mommy advice and baby care tips! Follow on IG @bossbabymav
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