Alexander Ryumin\TASS via Getty Image
- Mirny is a diamond mining town in Siberia, Russia, about 280 miles (450 kilometers) from the Arctic Circle.
- Most of the town’s roughly 40,000 residents work for Alrosa, the world’s largest diamond miner by volume.
- On a recent trip to Russia, I spent three days in Mirny with Alrosa.
- I saw the world’s second-largest manmade pit, experienced 20 hours of sunlight each day, and saw how the town’s buildings are built elevated above the ground because it’s not feasible to dig into the permafrost, which can reach up to 450 feet deep.
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Deep in Siberia, about 280 miles from the Arctic Circle, is a town that’s been called a "mono-city" because so much of the population works for a single company. That company is Alrosa, the world’s largest diamond miner by volume.
Mirny is a town of about 40,000 people that’s home to Alrosa’s headquarters and close to several of its diamond mines.
Diana Petrenko, an Alrosa spokesperson who referred to Mirny as a mono-city, said the company doesn’t release the exact number of its employees that are based in Mirny. But Petrenko did confirm that most of Alrosa’s 35,000 employees are based in Yakutia, the region where Mirny is located. In 2011, the BBC estimated that about 70% of the population worked for the diamond company.
I recently traveled to Russia and spent three days in Mirny. Here’s what the town looks like.
Mirny is a Russian town located deep in northeastern Siberia, about 280 miles (450 kilometers) from the Arctic Circle.
The Sakha Republic is known for its extreme climate. The average temperature in January is -46 degrees Fahrenheit (-43.5 degrees Celsius).
Alexander Ryumin\TASS via Getty Images
Mirny has been a diamond mining town since the 1950s.
It’s the headquarters of Alrosa, the world’s largest diamond miner by volume, as well as one of the largest manmade open pits in the world, the Mir mine.
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