The Cullinan diamond mine, also known as the Premier mine, is located in the Gauteng province of South Africa, and it is situated 40km east of Pretoria in Cullinan. The site's current owner, Petra Diamonds, has planned to expand the Cullinan diamond mine to increase the mine's production significantly. The mine has been active for more than 50 years, the company's current mining plan is to continue mining activities at the site until 2030 and eventually extend their plan accordingly to the residual resources of the mine.
Characterized by a volcanic neck and located on a diamond-bearing kimberlite pipe, the Cullinan mine was first mined in 1871. The carrot-shaped pipe mining site is currently called “Kimberley's big hole” and is considered the largest kimberlite pipe in the region. The mine is 190 meters deep from the surface, and the Cullinan pipe has three types of kimberlite: brown, grey, and black.
The site is known to be where the largest gem-quality rough diamond was ever found, weighing more than 3.000 carats, and discovered on January 26, 1905. Fred Wells was credited for finding the diamond, which was named after Thomas Cullinan, the mine's chairman and discoverer of the site. Afterwards, the diamond was put on sale in April 1905 in London, but it was unsold for two years despite its considerable interest. Finally, in 1907, the Transvaal Colony government bought the Cullinan, and Edward VII, King of the United Kingdom, had it cut by Joseph Asscher & Co. in Amsterdam.
Author Unknown, The Premier Mine. Petra Diamonds, Unknown date, Cullinan.
Krishna Duddilla. “Cullinan Diamond Mine, Gauteng”. Mining Technology, 2020.
John Lincoln. “The Cullinan Diamond and other remarkable stones from the Premier/Cullinan Mine”. The Heritage Portal, 2018.