PATRICK LANDMANN / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY PATRICK LANDMANN / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
The Big Hole, what remains of the original Kimberley Diamond Mine, Northern Cape Province, South Africa. From 1871, during the South African Diamond Rush, prospectors arrived from all over the world and diamond digging began in several areas. This, the largest excavation, became the Kimberley Mine, later nicknamed The Big Hole . The hole is 463 metres wide, and it was originally excavated to a depth of 240 metres. It was located on farmland which was owned by the De Beers brothers, who gave their name to the company which later came to dominate the diamond industry. The town of Kimberley grew up beside the mine.
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