The Cullinan kimberlite pipe was discovered in 1902 and open pit mining commenced at the ‘Premier’ mine (as it was then known) in 1903. The mine was renamed ‘Cullinan’ as part of its centenary celebrations and to link the mine to the illustrious heritage of the Cullinan diamond, which provided the two main polished diamonds within the British Crown Jewels (the 530 carat Great Star of Africa and the 317 carat Lesser Star of Africa).
Petra initially acquired a 37% interest in the Cullinan mine from De Beers in 2008, but increased its direct interest in the mine to 74% in late 2009 when it acquired Al Rajhi’s holding in the mine. Petra continues to mine the underground resource using block cave mining methods. Cullinan is renowned as a source of large diamonds and frequently yields diamonds larger than 10 carats. Furthermore, it has produced over 800 stones weighing more than 100 carats, 140 stones weighing more than 200 carats, and around a quarter of all diamonds weighing more than 400 carats.
Cullinan is also renowned as the world’s most important source of blue diamonds, providing the collection of 11 rare blues displayed in 2000 at London’s Millennium Dome alongside the Millennium Star and which included the fancy vivid blue ‘Heart of Eternity’ (27 carats polished).
Other notable diamonds historically produced from Cullinan include the Premier Rose (353 carats rough), the Niarchos (426 carats rough), the De Beers Centenary (599 carats rough), the Golden Jubilee (755 carats rough) and the famous Taylor-Burton diamond (69 carats polished).
Since we acquired the mine in 2008, Cullinan has produced the following important diamonds:
– A 39.9 carat diamond which sold for US$8.8 million in 2008.
– A 26.6 carat diamond which yielded a fancy vivid blue and internally flawless 7.0 carat polished stone known as the ‘Star of Josephine’ and sold for US$9.49 million at a Sotheby’s auction in 2009.
– A 507.5 carat white diamond known as the ‘Cullinan Heritage’ which was sold in 2010 for US$35.3 million.
– A 25.5 carat blue diamond which sold for US$16.9 million in 2013.
– A 29.6 carat blue diamond which sold for US$25.6 million in February 2014 and was then cut and polished into the perfect 12 carat ‘Blue Moon’.
– A 122.52 carat blue diamond which achieved a value of US$27.6 million in 2014.
– A 232 carat white diamond which was sold for US$15.2 million in September 2014.
– A 424.89 carat exceptional D colour Type IIa diamond which was sold for just under $15 million in May 2019.
The Cullinan Diamond mine do have 2 tours.
– The Motorized tour that is about 1 ½ hour tour and done in an open jeep. We will see the massive big hole to the headgear of the skips that transport the ore from underground. Follow its passage through the processing plant and the continue onto the huge dumps of waste material that have accumulated over the past 100 years. The tours have their own guides and from Monday to Sunday 11am and 13h30 pm.
Then the mine also do have an Underground Tour.
– A fascinating tour via the man riding cage (elevator) into the underground workings of the mine to see how the diamond-bearing kimberlite ground is mined and brought to the surface. The only tour of its kind in the world. The tour is 4 – 4 ½ hours.
– Mon – Fri 10h30
– Tues – Wed – Thurs 9h30
– Sat 8am
– Sunday no tours.
► Price on Request
– Children allowed
– Price includes entrance fees, excludes lunch
– Clients Dropped at hotel after tour
What to Bring:
– Sun block
– Walking boots/shoes
► Consider staying at Felleng Guesthouse with your stay in Johannesburg