Friday, February 1, 2013

Ancient Diamond Mining Equipment: ancient diamond fields of India

Ancient Diamond Mining Equipment: ancient diamond fields of IndiaAncient Diamond Mining Equipment: ancient diamond fields of India

What you are looking at here is one of the oldest types of a mineral recovery Jigs I have ever seen. This is an interesting study! If you note that the width is about 42 inches or so. The length is about
7 ft. This is close to a duplex Pan American jig. This is just for curious comparison. Also note the round hole in the center right of the box. Here is how they used this stone box for recovering Diamonds.

First they cut and hauled these slabs of dolomite limestone from the quarries lower down in the valley. Bear in mind that this was the 13 or 14th century! They brought these slabs to the middle of a diamond bearing area and set up these rudimentary recovery plants near the pits they excavated by hand.

They positioned the slabs as you can see. They then mixed a molasses type of sealer and sealed the inside of this box water tight. They then blocked off the hole at the middle right of the photo.

Next they hauled water from a well that was dug not far from this site,an impressive feat in its-self!!  Next they would have filled this box half full with water.
The ancient miners then hauled the gravel and rock they dug,  and filled this box about half way with diamond bearing gravels.

Then with sticks, small paddles, even their feet make a heavy slurry. The purpose is to keep the slurry they created, agitated enough so the heavier  specific gravity minerals would settle down to the bottom and this included the Diamonds.

They would then pull out the plug at the upper center part of the box and drain off the upper slurry leaving a diamond rich concentration at the bottom part of this puddle box.

The best part yet was that almost every one of these had another smaller puddle box right next to it to further re-concentrate the gravel!! Really ingenious of these people. The gravels all around these boxes have heavy minerals and smaller Diamonds still being found today by local villagers.

This Diamond field is where some of the most famous Diamonds in the world came from. Tavernier purchased many of his famous Diamonds for King Louis XIV of France from  the village of Kollur just a scant  half a mile away from where these puddle boxes were located, including the French blue, which many historians believe is the most famous Diamond on the planet the Blue Hope Diamond.

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