OPEN MINE (BIG HOLE)
Digging commenced at the Kimberley mine site in 1871. By the time mining ended on 14 August 1914, the mine had yielded 2722 kilograms of diamonds, extracted from 22,5 million tons of excavated earth. Today what remains is a massive crater 214 meters deep with a surface area of 17 hectares and a perimeter of 1,6 km. It is surrounded by original buildings from the heyday of the mine, relocated from earlier sites to form an unforgettable open air visitor experience.
Through an investment by De Beers Consolidated Mines, numerous new attractions had been added to the Big Hole facility in order to provide a world-class tourist destination, providing unique insights into diamonds, diamond mining and the process of recovering rough diamonds right through to the polished gem found in today’s exquisite pieces of jewelry.
With the development and ongoing improvements to the N 12 national road, visitors are encouraged to take an alternative route through the breathtaking Northern Cape and to come and explore the wonderful attraction that is the Big Hole in Kimberley.
The Big Hole facility also has numerous shops catering for all tastes, whether one wishes to buy a diamond ring, a semi-precious stone, leather goods or even a small memento to remind them of their visit to Kimberley. The are a number of options regarding grabbing a bite to eat, with a coffee shop as well as pub located on the premises. A 4-star guest house is located just meters away from the new visitors centre, with secure private parking.