Discovered in 1955 by geologists Yuri Khabardin, Ekatarina Elagina and Viktor Avdeenko, Mir Mine is known as the world’s largest open pit diamond mine. In fact it is so large that the air space above it was closed due to aircrafts been sucked down by the airflow. Measuring 1722ft deep and 3900ft wide this mines excavation started in about 1957 in very difficult weather conditions. In the winter the ground would freeze. This caused the ground to be extremely hard in winter, but it turned into mud or sludge in the summer. This made it very difficult for miners to continue with their job. Jet engines were used to defrost the frozen ground in the winter so that the miners could continue their work.
This made the excavation take that much longer. The reason for the commencement of mining was due to the reason that kimberlite was discovered in this area. Kimberlite is associated with diamonds, so naturally mining was started in this area. All machinery that was used in the beginning stages of excavation in the winter months had to be covered at night to prevent them from freezing. In the 1960’s this huge mine was producing 10.000.000 carats, which is round about 2000kg of diamonds. The upper layer of the diamond mine was the most high in diamond content of 4 carats.
As the pit got deeper every year the diamond content also got less and was less valuable than those in the first 340 meters of ore. In 1990 mining was stopped due to the flooding of the bottom of the pit but after a well started up again. This mine is the first diamond mine in the Soviet Union and subsequently there has never been a larger diamond mine in the Soviet Union. This mine also brought the biggest profits ever for a diamond mine.