Cullinan Diamond Mine (Surface Tour)
SPECIAL NOTE: Children under 10 years are not permitted to join this tour. Please wear closed shoes or sneakers (tekkies) – no open shoes, sandals or flip flops are allowed.
When diamonds were first discovered in about 1888 in the river systems east of where Cullinan is today, a fascinating history began which led to the discovery of Premier Mine (now Cullinan Diamond Mine). The mine was discovered on a farm called Elandsfontein, owned by Willem Prinsloo. Thomas Cullinan bought the farm and soon after, in 1902, the Premier Diamond Mining Company was registered. Prospecting began without delay and mining began the following year. In 1905, one of the greatest events in diamond history took place when an enormous diamond, weighing 3106 carats, was found. It was named after Thomas Cullinan and still remains the largest diamond ever found.
After the horror of World War 2 came to an end in 1945, Premier was reopened but took 10 months to pump out around four billion litres of water that had accumulated in the mine’s 189m-deep pit over it’s 14 dormant years. At this time Premier began its foray into underground mining and a prosperous new period had begun.
In 1977 the Premier (Transvaal) Diamond Company was amalgamated into De Beers Consolidated and a breath of fresh air blew through the mine. More recently, in July 2008, the mine was bought by Petra Diamonds is still fully operational today.
Cullinan is one of the world’s most celebrated diamond mines and is renowned for producing many of the most spectacular diamonds ever seen, such as the Cullinan, Premier Rose, Niarchos, the Centenary and the Golden Jubilee.