One Flew Over the Peace, I saw from the window of only a part of a huge crater. I can not even imagine how it looks cool, if you look at it a little to the side!
Satellite image. By clicking opens a larger size:
In the town of Peace can only be reached by plane. Of course, if you want you can try to overcome the Yakut taiga and tundra, but it is practically impossible, will leave more than one year of life, before this expedition is over.
In early September, began in Yakutia "Diamond Week of Yakutia", and I am part of a large group of journalists will fly to the city of Mirny. Below us swims already yellowed tundra, sometimes sparkling water surface lakes and rivers. Hour and a half, probably not more - and we in the Peace. The airport meets the strong wind and a few buses. Someone is going on a tour of the city, who is taken to the Diamond Fund, me and five more lucky gets the dirtiest work - an excursion into the mine.
Frankly, I do, "do not touch" diamonds, but descend into the pit of 500-700 meters and see how this all happens in life - is expensive! Not well understood, as we all let go, excursions to such places do not happen too many risks and dangers, but if someone comes to mind is to arrange the show, I'm hanging up in wanting to not be. Told us that a couple of times foreigners lowered into the mine, those seeing kimberlite pipe, lost his composure and threw all possible in the dirt to look for diamonds)))
As usual in such industries, it all starts with safety. And it's not just empty words. A day after we descended into the mine, I'm in the city of Yakutsk local told mine was killed in the neighboring miner.
We show the scheme of mine. A small clarification: we descended into the mine shaft internationally. All other mines are being developed in the same way, if the open development already is minimized.
After the briefing going to change. We give a special thermal underwear and neat hebeshku on foot - thick socks and rubber boots. The headpiece is a classic - a helmet. Each was given a flashlight and a special tube, which is a device for breathing. This is the case if the blockage happens in the mine and have it "sunbathing».
As long as we go down the hall, read the inscription. Maybe someone will help them to concentrate on work and go home. Work in the mine is dangerous, primarily because of the gas, and if miss his appearance will be in great trouble. With us are some accompanying
In the mine, you can get across the street or at special corridors, this is due to low temperatures in winter. Corridor and even the mine, where people work, are heated.
In the mine can only be reached by elevator. Recently repaired the elevator, you can say it now just finished the run in. So joke guys. Everything around is so unusual that even scary. But if someone is suffering from claustrophobia, the mine is off limits.
By the way, two-story elevator and I somehow associate it with red double-decker buses in London ...
Lift is designed to replace, and we are clearly less at ease and we settling down along the walls. Closed doors, elevator jerks and starts to sink down ... Horror!
It looks like the inner wall of the shaft, on which we went down:
Suddenly the wall disappears and we see lighted space. This is another "floor", but we still continue ... Horror!
And here is our mark. I understand that we are less than 500 meters, but not at the bottom. There, apparently, are only preparatory work before will get the machine to the kimberlite pipe. Generally, the information falls incredibly much, it happens in a very short time, but still an incredible experience, from what you see ... It's hard not to lose your head. By the way, the pressure at the bottom has changed, I personally felt it, and at the end of our trip I was not quite right.
Stop. We do not release until all the procedures are not followed. There's a sign in front, for it shows the depth - 550 meters. We had covered half a kilometer down! It is my deepest dive in my life!
First impressions - warm, light and dry, and they are very different from the invented picture, but we'll see what happens. Hope to see at least a glimpse of the diamond does not leave me.
On the way, we meet a new shift. We look at them with some curiosity and surprise, and they at us as green men - rarely descend journalists here.
Our mode of transportation for mine very much looked like a military operation. Everything is clear and very quick!
Behind this door begins MINE. Of course, we are already in the mine, and there is a way to kimberlite pipe. By the way, on our way we encounter not one such door and they just do not open, sometimes you have to call the dispatcher to have missed. Needless to say, that there is no cellular and landline telephones work only.
Meanwhile, the party guys loaded in the same double-decker bus and dived down ...
We begin the journey. Comes the idea that the best place to shoot all sorts of fantastic films and horror is hard to find ...
A huge room, there's a bit of a repair shop. Here are the pieces on the floor - "drilling heads," they "eat" the body of kimberlite pipe.
But this dump truck shovel diamondiferous ore volumes ... some what! And the bus ... Nothing like ever seen! By the way, all the equipment used in the mine, designed to work in such conditions, a normal car can not be used here because there is no special protection. The probability that there will be a gas, there is always, and the slightest spark could cause an explosion ...
After the repair shop opens our eyes ordinary Russian road. Go to the tube foot away and not very convenient, especially for a thinner, though rubber boots.
And we are invited to a special taxi. Very rigid cab, without any leather chairs and soft suspension.
And that, ladies and gentlemen, the same ore, which have to be diamonds. Had only to say so, all rushed to the placer - and let's dig into it. And so would have paid no attention and went by. I remembered the story about aliens, apparently guys are not joking, telling how they were looking for diamonds in the dirt
And here we get to the rig, it is for the tube with diamonds.
Squeeze into a narrow slit. In front of me there is a slightly damp wall - this is the goal of our journey. I touched the wall, she is cold and clammy mud (clay). There is no feeling that there is diamonds. Well, no!
This tool penetrate into the tube, crumbling stone into small fragments. Then rubble removal and the other company will have to extract diamonds.
Short excursion to the tube ends. There are five minutes to walk to different tunnels. It's time to taxi
On the way, we meet one of the cars that carry ore
Tube top - is ventilation. But despite this, the smell of the mine is. Or let's say: the air some "not so fresh».
After the taxi was a short walk to the door of the mine. On the floor lay a new track. They are imported down by the same elevator and then manually build the railway. In the mine in general a lot of things have to be done manually.
And as a postscript ... In 1980, there was found the biggest (in the USSR) diamond weighing 342 carats 5 (68 grams). If we talk about the statistics, during the existence of the mine, she gave diamonds to $ 17 billion.