Diamond mine, Siberia, Russia

Diamond mine, Siberia, Russia

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Caption: Excavator and miner at Mirny (Mir) diamond mine, Eastern Siberia, Russia. Mirny mine is a former open pit diamond mine which began operating in 1957, producing diamonds from kimberlite, an igneous rock. The mine's vast pit is 525 metre deep and 1200 metres across. Conditions were extreme, with temperatures regularly falling to minus 55 Centigrade. Vehicle engines had to run continuously or their fuel would freeze. During the seventies underground mining operations began and continued until the mine's closure in 2011. Photographed in 1991.

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