Book Review - Diamond Mine Security

Physical Security
Book Review: Diamond Mine Security

Lulu;; 226 pages, $13.38.


This uneven book provides some good insights into security in a mining environment, but these are woven throughout the unrelated personal accounts of mining camp life, making it difficult for the reader to pick out the buried gems. Numerous references to camp conditions, weather, and wildlife have no nexus to security, and, while interesting, these items do not provide value in that context. The casual nature of the writing, its formatting, and grammatical errors detract from its value. The few photographs that are presented are irrelevant to security topics.   

The text attempts to examine various aspects of security throughout the mining life-cycle, from exploration to closure. However, in the chapter “Constructing the Future,” little emphasis is put on the various phases of the process where most critical security planning and design occurs—before construction begins. The author uses the terms exploration and construction interchangeably, but these are distinct phases in the overall process. Each brings its own security nuances, which are broad-brushed in other chapters.

While the book is titled Diamond Mine Security, there is also a chapter on “Gold Security.” The references to gold mining lack clear differentiation from the security protocols mentioned elsewhere. Another chapter, “Diamond Vaults and Access Control,” deviates into security for water and air supplies. While critical, the topics seem misplaced—an overarching section on vulnerability assessments could have addressed these important issues more thoroughly and appropriately.

In summary, the text is a mix of security-specific practices and light-hearted examples of what life is like at a remote mining camp. A stated purpose or target audience might have helped the author focus his work more appropriately. Readers looking for a definitive guide on mining security topics should look to professional industry publications; however, those looking for an overview of diamond mining with a smattering of security concepts will find merit in this book.


Reviewer: Jay Martin, CPP, CFI (Certified Forensic Interviewer), CFE (Certified Fraud Examiner), is regional security manager for Goldcorp Latin America based in Mexico City. A veteran of the U.S. Marine Corps, he has managed security operations in the gold-mining industry around the world. Martin serves as the chair of the ASIS Petrochemical, Chemical, and Extractive Industries Security Council.