The mine was opened in 1871 and closed in 1914, during which time almost three tonnes of diamonds were mined. At 215 metres deep, the mine is one of the largest handexcavated holes in the world. Palabora Mine. Palabora Mine is an 800metre deep mine in Phalaborwa, in the Limpopo Province. The mine has been in operation since 1956, and is the only producer of refined copper in South Africa today.