Premier Diamond Mine – A Fascinating Look into Mining
The tour of Premier Diamond Mine near Pretoria is a combination of the mine and that of Cullinan Village and the Tswaing Crater. This historical area can either be done as a day trip to each area or spread out over five days, with a local tour group. Or you can only visit the site that is most important to you.
The Cullinan Village was established in 1903, and lies 40 kilometers outside of Pretoria. The village is a mining village and therefore forms part of the Premier Diamond Mine tour. Exploring the village is almost as if you are entering a live museum, as the old stone buildings, churches and mining houses, seem to be frozen in time. Sir Thomas Cullinan was attracted by the alluvial diamond that were being found in the streams, and discovered premium kimberlite in 1898. He bought the farm Elandsfontein from the Prinsloo family in 1902, convinced that there were diamonds on his farm. But due to the Anglo Boer Wars, mining was not possible till 1903, and 100 000 carats were found within the first year. The Premier pipe, which was 32 hectares, was the biggest ever found.
Premier Diamond Mine is still one of South Africa’s largest diamond mines, and it is here that the Cullinan diamond was found in 1905. This world famous diamond remains to date, the largest gem diamond ever found. The diamond was sent to Amsterdam, where is was cut into 9 smaller diamonds, which either form part of the Crown Jewels, or are still owned by the British Royal Family. The Premier Diamond Mine started underground mining in 1945. The Premier Diamond Mine is now owned by De Beers, and was renamed to the Cullinan Diamond Mine in 2003. Other famous diamonds mined from the Premier Diamond Mine, was the Premier Rose, the Centenary, the Niarchos and the Golden Jubilee.
Touring the Premier Diamond Mine, will take you to view the massive crater where the Cullinan Diamond was found and to get an in depth look into the daily routines of a working mine. Also, view the diamond mine itself, the diamond room, visit the shaft and take a full surface tour. There is a museum on the premises and the Diamond Shop.