The biggest hole on the planet
On the surface of the Earth there is a large number of huge holes tectonic origin: the craters of volcanoes, whirlpools, earthquakes, faults. But most often the cause of these holes becomes a man. With the help of technical equipment human strength considering striking size mines and quarries. Stand out of the Kimberley diamond fields, reach over time, on an unprecedented scale. The largest depth and diameter of hole on the earth’s surface is one such diamond source – kimberlite pipe «Mir» in Yakutia.
Characteristics and history
The kimberlite pipe «Mir» is located in the North of the Asian part of Russia, in the Republic of Yakutia, near the village of Mirny. The quarry is unique in the world in depth (527 m) and the maximum diameter (about 1.3 km). It is a funnel, tapering recesses, and, according to scientists, now holds in its bosom approximately 70 million tons of diamond ore.
The kimberlite pipe «Mir» in Yakutia — the biggest hole on the planet
In the mid 50-ies of the last century, began an active search of diamond deposits in Yakutia. Their existence in these lands has been scientifically justified, and now I had to find them. The first sign was opened in 1954 kimberlite pipe «Zarnitsa» — the first store of diamonds in the Soviet Union.
A year later the expedition Yuri Khabardin I., E. N. And Elagin V. P. Avdeenko during the research came across a coniferous tree, the roots of which the earth was polzela. Its green hue gave scientists confidence that they have found a kimberlite source.
The opening of a diamond store «the World» prompted an active development in this wilderness so far. Soon next to the quarry was built workers ‘ village of peace, where he moved to live hundreds of miners from all over Yakutia. Since 1957, started mining the diamond ore in an open way, but in the first years of work was bad enough: the land was for centuries in the permafrost, with great difficulty, been digging, so they had to resort to using dynamite.
Until the early 1960s, the annual rate of ore produced 3 kg of diamond stones. Of these, only a small part (20%) were intended for jewelry production, all the rest went to industrial needs.
For more than 40 years continued mining of kimberlite in an open way. During this time they produced more than 350 million cubic meters of ore. In June 2001, it was decided to stop work because this method is somewhat outdated, it was considered absolutely unprofitable, and, moreover, dangerous. Research and development has shown that grandiose diamond reserves are at a depth of 1.5-2 km below ground level, so you need to make the transition to the extraction of ore by underground method. Since 2002, activities were initiated for the construction of the underground mine. The first part was launched in summer 2009. The construction continues and, according to experts, the strategic reserves of ore runs out 35 years with a yearly production rate of 2 million tonnes.
From kimberlite pipe «Mir» are some interesting facts:
- In December 1980, in his career he discovered a diamond, is still considered the largest was found in Russia. It weighed 342.5 carats (about 69 m), and the name he received in honor of the upcoming 26th Congress of the CPSU.
- Helicopters are forbidden to fly the tube «Mir», as the funnel has a special gravitational properties, and can suck the helicopter into its depths.
- A quarry is a tremendous threat of excavation collapses. According to scientists, the crater over time, are able to absorb and the peace settlement, and neighbouring settlements.
- Russian architects presented the project of the tourist arrangement of the quarry «Mir». Its essence lies in the fact that until 2020 it is planned to create from an abandoned warehouse three-tier tourist complex with all necessary infrastructure: hotels, restaurants, amusement parks. As protection from the harsh winters of the Yakut to be equipped with complex transparent dome of thick, thick glass. However, these «Napoleonic» plans yet remain: the authorities are in no hurry to implement such a grandiose plan in life.