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The Human and Environmental Impact of
Blood Diamond Mining

By Mikkie Mills

The problem of so-called blood diamonds, precious stones mined illegally in war-torn parts of the world, has been a priority for most ecology and human rights groups for over two decades. Blood diamond mining has a terrible human cost but has also had a devastating effect on the environment of parts of Africa. Globally, Time reports the diamond industry to be worth more than 80 billion with more than 140,000 carats of diamonds smuggled out of the Central African Republic in 2014. The ecological impact of blood diamonds affects both the world we live in and the human population living in areas with disputed diamond deposits.

The heavy use of water

One of the most important issues is the heavy use of water involved in the mining of conflict diamonds. The legal diamond mining industry has been developing new ways of extracting diamonds from mines without the problem of using up valuable water supplies with the use of chemicals. The lack of funding for blood diamond mining means it has become one of the major ways water is used on the African continent.

Many communities throughout Africa have been struggling to develop usable supplies of water with the use of supplies for blood diamond mining causing major problems for wildlife, plant life, and humans. because of the lack of usable chemicals for groups involved in blood diamond mining, armed forces have been diverting water supplies from streams, rivers, and wells changing the face of the central portion of Africa forever.

Turning Africa into a moonscape

One of the most severe problems facing the people of Africa is that of the way blood diamond mining has changed the face of the continent with millions of acres of land now unusable. The issue of blood diamond mining has become such as issue over the last few decades that entire landscapes across the central portion of the African continent have been destroyed.

The process of creating a blood diamond mine has resulted in the removal of millions of tonnes of topsoil and leaving vast craters in the ground. The landscape of many parts of Africa now resemble moonscapes rather than the landscape of the nation they are found in. Removing the topsoil from the area being used for blood diamond mining leaves large amounts of dust in the atmosphere because of the failure of the miners to replace the removed soil.

Lab produced diamonds make a difference

The process of creating a diamond is completed by using high pressure in the ground or through a meteor strike. The ecological problems of the sale of blood diamonds can be reduced with the use of lab-grown diamonds that are becoming more popular as their benefits are being understood.

The benefits of lab grown diamonds vs real diamonds are vitally important to these human rights and environmental issues. Luckily, there is little aesthetic difference between the two. A lab grown diamond is created under scientifically controlled conditions in a way that recreates the thousands of years a real diamond takes to form in a shorter period of time. By choosing to purchase a lab grown diamond you will find yourself working with experts from countries such as Ireland instead of working with those from war-torn countries Botswana and the Central African Republic.

For those who are looking to avoid the problems of purchasing blood diamonds, the decision to look for those diamonds created by the regulated diamond industry and avoid the problems created by warlords and unscrupulous diamond miners. Conflict diamonds, as blood diamonds are known to lead to more than ecological issues but fund violence against people of all genders and child slavery.

About Mikkie Mills: “I’m a Chicago native who loves to share her expertise about personal development and growth. When I’m not writing, I’m chasing the little ones around or rock climbing at the local climbing gym.” More articles by Mikkie.

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