|Location:||Visitors' Reception Centre, Opp. Dutoitspan/Bultfontein Mines, 5 km from Kimberley.|
|Open:||mine tours discontinued |
|Fee:||mine tours discontinued |
|Light:||Incandescent Electric Light System|
|Guided tours:||Underground Tours: D=4 h.|
De Beers, Visitors Reception Centre, Tel: +27-53-842-1321.
Cindy Carls, Tel: +27-53-839-4270, Fax: +27-35-839-4230. E-mail:
|As far as we know this information was accurate when it was published (see years in brackets), but may have changed since then.
Please check rates and details directly with the companies in question if you need more recent info.
|2005||mine tours discontinued.|
We made this page many years ago, while the mine was still toured. It seems DeBeers has reorganized its touristic offers, and while the Kimberley mine was featured, this mine was closed. At the moment we do not know the current state of this show mine, and we will leave this page as long as it might be reopened.
Modern diamond mines follow the Kimberlite pipes underground. One of them is Bultfontein Mine which is one of five still working diamond mines at Kimberly. All those mines are operated by De Beers. This one is said to be the only operating diamond mine open to the public.
The tour takes half a day and starts very early. The visitors are equipped with blue coveralls, brown boots, a helmet, ear protectors, and oxygen packs. Then some instructional videos on diamond mining, the history of the Kimberley diamond fields, and security instructions are shown. Finally the group enters a cage elevator and descends about 825 m. Here they watch the active mining process.
The mining technique is rather unique. Kimberlite, the rock in the pipe is very soft. So all they do is building an adit through the surrounding Archean gneiss into the pipe. In the pipe they set off small blasts in the ceiling of the tunnels and shovel out the kimberlite that falls in. A long conveyor belt moves the crushed kimberlite to special lifts that bring it to the surface.