As the above information makes clear, the vast majority of the industrial diamond trade centers on synthetic diamonds; however, natural diamonds still hold a place in the industry. Here are the five top natural industrial diamond-producing countries of 2014, using statistics from the USGS.1. Democratic Republic of the Congo (Kinshasa) Mine production: 18 million carats The Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) is known for its incredible mineral deposits; however, the country is also home to widespread corruption and political turmoil, issues that gave birth to the term "conflict minerals." Essentially, much of the DRC's diamond production comes from rebel-owned mines that do not adhere to global standards for labor or human rights. The workers in these mines are treated like slaves and the money brought in by diamonds produced there is used to fund further rebel actions, MBendi Information Services states. What all that means is that while the DRC is the largest producer of industrial diamonds based on publicly available data, that information probably understates the country's actual diamond output. Nonetheless, it's worth noting that according to USGS figures, industrial diamond production in the DRC increased by 5 million carats in 2014, hitting 18 million carats. The country possesses the world's second-largest known diamond reserves, with 150 million carats of industrial diamonds untapped. 2. Russia Mine production: 15 million carats Russia's industrial diamond production fell by 2 million carats in 2015, but it remains a top industrial diamond producer. The country is currently investigating the Popigai Astroblem, a meteorite crater that contains more diamonds than the rest of the world's reserves combined, The Christian Science Monitor notes. According to Russian scientists, these diamonds are particularly hard and ideal for industrial use; that said, Engineering and Mining Journal points out that they may nevertheless be less appealing than synthetic options.
3. AustraliaMine production: 10 million carats Australia's diamond production is heavily weighted toward lower-quality diamonds that are well suited to industrial applications, according to Australian Mines Atlas. The majority of the country's diamond reserves are located in the Arglye deposit, which is operated by global mining giant Rio Tinto (ASX:RIO,LSE:RIONYSE:RIO). Since operations began in the 1980s, the Argyle mine has produced over 800 million carats of rough diamonds. 4. Botswana Mine production: 7 million carats The economy of Botswana is tremendously dependent on the diamond trade, and the state mines diamonds under an agreement with privately held diamond giant De Beers,. The country holds 130 million carats worth of diamond reserves, and should remain a major player in the global production of industrial diamonds. 5. South Africa Mine production: 5 million carats South African industrial diamond production climbed by 3 million carats last year. That represents a rebound for the industry, which suffered during the global financial crisis, Mining Weekly states. The country has 70 million carats in known reserves, and could continue to rise as a source of industrial diamonds on the global stage. 5 Top Industrial Diamond-producing Countries from Diamond Investing News