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The Siberian Times

Glittering vacation in Siberia - take your holiday in a diamond mine

By The Siberian Times reporter
14 April 2017

Russia's gem capital Mirny, one of the country's most remote locations, wants an influx of tourists.

One of the country's most remote locations, wants an influx of tourists. Picture: The Siberian Times

Local officials are pressing for a relaxation in rules permitting foreign and Russian tourists to visit diamond mines and plants in this far-flung town with a 37,000 population. 

One of the coldest in the world, it was once closed to people from abroad, and even today there are curbs on visits to key production facilities. 

But officials believe there is a market for diamond tourism, believing wealthy visitors could boost the economy. 

'This direction of tourism is something new for us, and we want to open this page in history of the Mirny district - the Russian centre of diamond production,' head of the local administration Rishat Yuzmukhametov.



Officials believe there is a market for diamond tourism. Pictures: The Siberian Times

'Unfortunately, it is complicated now to show to tourists the nine open-cuts, where diamonds are extracted, because of the severe climate and complicated logistics, but all problems can be solved, and we are working on them.'

Already tourists can go on what is know as the  Diamond Route, he said. 

'We invite tourists to take this route once a year - in September. 

'Investors, interested in visiting Yakutia and its diamond plants, come here by chartered flights. 

'For example, they go to see the shop where diamonds are graded, then they see the Mir open pit, take a tour of the Mirny city and then go to Yakutsk, where they participate in an auction of diamonds.'



The Mir mine is the town's most famous site. Pictures: Alrosa

He told TASS that he wants to open more facilities, believing there is a market, and he showed determination to beat the obstacles to put Mirny on the world tourism map.

'We want to focus on development of industrial tourism,' he said. 

'We are trying to get on the federal special programme, but, unfortunately, as yet we could not succeed, as some of the factories have restricted access.'

Yet as he says 'only 15 years ago even coming here was not possible'.

The town, founded in 1955, lies in the west of Yakutia, officially known as the Sakha Republic, produces some 14% of all diamonds in the world. 



Already tourists can go on what is know as the  Diamond Route. Pictures: The Siberian Times

The Mir mine is the town's most famous site. 

It is an open pit mine with a depth of 525 meters (1,722 ft) and diameter of 1.25 kilometers (0.78 miles), reckoned to be the second largest in the world.

This mine was permanently closed in 2011.

This hole in the earth poses a threat to aircraft, and helicopters are banned from overflying it. 

Mirny is some 820 kilometres (520 miles) west of regional capital Yakutsk. 

Comments (1)

If it is possible to buy dismonds at a much lower price than in a jewlery shop, then thousands will go....
Enrique, Spain
17/04/2017 22:13
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