Alluvial diamond mining is an above ground form of mining which concentrates on gathering diamonds on the surface. This is the most traditional and oldest mining method in the diamond industry, which originated hundreds of years ago in India. This method is widespread even today, mainly in Brazil and Africa.
Alluvial mining is conducted in two ways – manually and in an unorganized framework; and in the organized framework of large companies using heavy equipment. Unorganized manual mining is conducted by diggers who are provided with simple equipment (mainly spades and sieves) and food from the mining financer to whom they hand over the diamonds that they find. The diggers work mainly in areas of silt, such as riverbeds and along the coast. Sometimes they dig with their hands, sifting the sand or earth manually.
Organized alluvial mining, on the other hand, is carried out by large companies using heavy equipment. In this sort of mining, millions of tons of sand are removed from river beds and the coastline. The silt, including rubble, is removed for sifting and separation. This method is fairly elementary, but it requires a good deal of patience and covers extensive areas, which necessitate the use of heavy equipment and sophisticated means.