The diamond industry ensures improved transparency and sustainable diamonds. There is a specific mystique to the earth-mined diamonds having rare pieces of atomic perfection with a billion years of history of particular places’ romance. However, they are also the target of endless human ingenuity and massive machinery to find to extract them. Their origin is dramatic if you consider them to intrigue due to their role in one’s emotional life. The Source of these diamonds is of interest for various marketing efforts.
Diamond mining and sustainable diamonds:
As it is evident that the natural diamonds are formed deeply from within the earth’s surface with miners’ help that goes deep within that surface. A lot of people claim sustainable diamonds, eco-friendly diamonds, and ethically sourced diamonds.
It is called to be one of the most common types of diamond mining that is precisely how it sounds like. The miners use heavy-duty explosives for blowing more enormous pits in the ground. Later the heavy machinery extracts those diamonds.
The excavators load the ore once it is broken into haul trucks to transport them to the primary ore crusher. The primary ore crushers extract the diamonds out of those hauls. A single blast breaks around three thousand tons of that ore.
This dirty work results in irreversible ecological damage to the landscape, leave pit up to 600 meters deep, and burns hundreds of millions of fuel gallons. The hole expands as long as there are other resources to find those hauls of diamonds. The agencies are asked to rehab the land after pillaging the earth for every stone they can. However, it is not necessary to happen every time.
The term rehab refers to constructing and designing the landforms and establishing a sustainable ecosystem that depends on the target. This may include establishing plants and introducing animals, choosing species and reconstructing a soil’ profile.’
However, it is considered to be dangerous most in the industrial area. It causes severe damage to the ecological land and significant effects on miners’ health. Besides, it causes changes to soil, bedrock, and vegetation that contribute to groundwater levels, surface hydrology, and flow paths.
Underground diamond mining:
It is a form of pit mining exploiting the depleted pit mines where the minders drill the more oversized shafts parallel to the kimberlite pipes that make it feasible to dig enclosed tunnels transporting the hard-to-reach diamonds towards the surface. However, it is complex and expensive at the same time. Kimberlite is the rock that potentially has diamonds, and the two shafts drill along its sides. Two parallel tunnels can be dug once the posts are plugged in. Any diamonds inside the kimberlite will fall to the second level when the rick blasts are used in the top tunnel.
However, mining has its own set of challenges because it demands care and maintenance due to water seeping issues. Henceforth, sometimes it can be closed off due to chances of flood.
Offshore marine diamond mining
This type of diamond mining is out of science fiction because imagining giant and flexible tubes sucking the gravel from the earth floor is unusual. However, the other method uses massive drills for pulling up the diamonds bearing gravels.
This type of mining comes at a high environmental cost where the mining equipment dredges thousands of tons of sediment out of the sea, and the damage might take decades for recovering. Marine mining disturbs migratory species, such as whales, dolphins, seals, and sharks and impacts the seafloor that is already under stress from climate change.
Marine mining is referred to gain speed as land-based diamond mines are depleted. Various agencies have constructed huge parcels that suck up the seabed in search of these stones for finding the diamonds that were washed into the Atlantic Ocean millions of years ago. Marine mining removes habitat recovery from this type of disturbance can take decades, and parts of the seabed with heavy machinery.
Sustainable diamonds- a pipe dream?
Labs vs mines, looking into these two origins, it is evident that they use equipment and technology to create or extract a diamond. However, some statistics need to be looked upon.
Mining finite natural resources are inherently unsustainable, and none of them produces sustainable diamonds. Every type of mining has a long-lasting environmental impact. The eco-friendly mines are not renewable resources for these specific reasons.
Diamond mining notably contributes to land degradation and erosion, leading to the inability of growing crops and flooding. An enormous pit is left once a mine is depleted that fills with water over time. That stagnant water becomes a place of a breeding ground for malaria and mosquito.
Energy use comparison:
Mined diamonds utilizes 538.5 million joules per carat for energy, while the grown one uses 250 million. According to the Frost & Sullivan study, much of the life used in creating lab-grown gemstones is renewable, although it might seem like a lot.
Do they release carbon?
The difference in carbon emissions on mined diamonds and Ethica diamonds is staggering. Human-made diamonds emit just 6 pounds of carbon – a mere 4.8% of what mined diamonds produce, and the traditionally mined diamond has more than 125 pounds of carbon for every single carat. Human-made diamonds create none, and mined diamonds make more than 30 pounds of Sulphur oxide. The growth procedure includes little or no emissions of significance if we talk about overall gaseous emissions.
How much waste is created, and the land is disrupted?
Nearly 100 square feet of land is disturbed, and more than 5,798 pounds of mineral waste is created for every carat of diamond mined using the traditional methods. The mining also renders the land unusable and offsets delicate biodiversity balances once the mining activities have ceased.
Which one consumes more water?
One of the most significant areas where lab-grown diamonds and mined diamonds differ is their water usage. Lab-grown diamonds use 18 gallons, and mined diamond consumes more than 126 gallons of water per carat.
The above explanation is enough to identify the lab diamonds as an environment-friendly choice as it is less destructive than the other ones.