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The Abandoned Mirny Diamond Mine is the second largest man made hole in the world

Ian Smith

The Mir mine  also called the Mirny mine, is a former open pit diamond mine, now inactive, located in Mirny, Eastern Siberia, Russia. The mine is 525 meters (1,722 ft) deep (4th in the world) and has a diameter of 1,200 m (3,900 ft), and is the second largest excavated hole in the world, after Bingham Canyon Mine.

The diamond-bearing deposits were discovered on June 13, 1955 by Soviet geologists Yuri Khabardin, Ekaterina Elagina and Viktor Avdeenko during the large Amakinsky Expedition in Yakut ASSR. They found traces of the volcanic rock kimberlite, which is usually associated with diamonds. This finding was the second success in the search for kimberlite in Russia, after numerous failed expeditions of the 1940s and 1950s. (The first was Zarnitsa mine, 1954) For this discovery, in 1957 Khabardin was given the Lenin Prize, one of the highest awards in the Soviet Union

atlas Obscura