Diamonds are formed by high-pressure high-temperature (HPHT) processes that naturally occur deep within the Earth. The exact temperature and pressures at which these processes occur naturally is not known, but we can get a pretty good idea by comparing the temperatures used when using artificial HPHT means to manufacture synthetic diamonds. It seems that temperatures of approximately 5000°C and pressures of around 100,000 atmospheres are needed - and such temperatures and pressures occur nowhere on the surface on the Earth, nor anywhere in the outer layer of the Earth, known as the crust.
It is thus thought that natural diamonds are created within the Earth's mantle (this view is reinforced by the fact that a pressure of 100,000 atmospheres is equivalent to that of 200 miles of rock). Most of the diamonds formed in this way, probably never reach or approach the surface, but just sometimes they are exploded towards the surface in fissures. These fissures tend to become circular near the surface, are known as "pipes", and are composed of the mineral kimberlite.
In some diamond mining regions, diamonds are mined directly from the kimberlite pipes. However, kimberlite, like other minerals is liable to weathering and erosion, and hence in other diamond mining regions, diamonds may be found in locations where the alluvial deposits from erosion are found - such as beaches, deltas, river and stream beds, and former river and stream beds.
Here is a list of some the most important diamond mining regions around the world:
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