Diamond processing, Siberia, Russia

Diamond processing, Siberia, Russia

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Credit: PATRICK LANDMANN/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Crushers 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. Conditions were extreme, with temperatures regularly falling to minus 55 Centigrade. Because of this, no water could be use in processing the ore as it would freeze immediately, so Russian engineers developed the dry-crushing machinery seen here. Diamond production continued until mine's closure in 2011. Photographed in 1991.

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