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What is the World’s Biggest Diamond Mine?

What is the biggest diamond mine in the world and where is the mine located?

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The Orapa diamond mine (Location 21.283333°S 25.366666°ECoordinates: 21.283333°S 25.366666°E) is the world's largest diamond mine. The mine is located in Orapa, a town in the Boteti Sub-District of Botswana about 240 kilometers (150 miles) west of the city of Francistown. Orapa ("resting place for lions") is owned by Debswana, a partnership between the De Beers company and the government of Botswana. It is the oldest of four mines operated by the company, having begun operations in July 1971.

Orapa is of open pit construction and is the largest diamond mine in the world by area. The mine is located on two kimberlite pipes that converge near the surface, covering 1.18 square kilometres at ground level. Orapa operates seven days per week, and produces 20 million tons per year of ore and an additional 40 million tons per year of waste rock. In 2003, the Orapa mine produced 16.3 million carats (3260 kg) of diamond. The recoverable ore grade at the mine is about 0.87 carats (174 mg) per ton. The mine was expanded in 1999, doubling its previous capacity. The processing plant at Orapa processes the ore produced at Orapa as well as two of Debswana's three other mines, the Letlhakane and Damtshaa diamond mines.

Orapa and its sister mine Letlhakane employ over 3,100. Debswana also maintains a 100-bed hospital, pre-primary and primary schools for employees' children, and the Orapa game park. The mine maintains an ISO 14001 certificate for environmental compliance, and places some importance on water conservation and waste management.

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