With the true pipes are associated dykes and fissures also filled with diamantiferous blue ground.
The sandstones and conglomerates belong to the Vindhyan formation and overlie the old crystalline rocks: the diamantiferous beds are well defined, often not more than 1 ft.
It was soon found that each mine was in reality a huge vertical funnel or crater descending to an unknown depth, and filled with diamantiferous blue ground.
Square sunk into the blue ground; the diamantiferous rock was hoisted by bucket and windlass, and roadways were left across the pit to provide access to the claims. But the roadways soon fell in, and ultimately haulage from the claims could only be provided by means of a vast system of wire ropes extending from a triple staging of windlasses erected round the entire edge of the mine, which had by this time become a huge open pit; the ropes from the upper windlasses extended to the centre, and those from the lower tier to the sides of the pit; covering the whole mass like a gigantic cobweb.
In 1901 there were about 5000 negroes employed in the Bahia mines; methods were still primitive; the cascalho was dug out from the river beds or tunnelled out from the valley side, and washed once a week in sluices of running water, where it was turned over with the hoe, and finally washed in wooden basins and picked over by hand; sometimes also the diamantiferous material is scooped out of the bed of the shallow rivers by divers, and by men working under water in caissons.
Considerable interest attaches to the diamonds found in Wisconsin, Michigan and Ohio near the Great Lakes, for they are here found in the terminal moraines of the great glacial sheet which is supposed to have spread southwards from the region of Hudson Bay; several of the drift minerals of the diamantiferous region of Indiana have been identified as probably of Canadian origin; no diamonds have however yet been found in the intervening country of Ontario.