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Breakthrough in diamond exploration

Scientists at the Diamond Research Group of the University of Alberta – which is partially funded by De Beers – have found that Canadian diamonds are formed in a very different way to other stones.

It was previously believed that diamonds could only be found in the kimberlites of very old geological formations called cratons, as they are in South Africa. All South African diamonds are more than 2.5 billion years old.

In contrast, samples from the Victor Mine in Ontario were just 700 million years old. They also formed in a different type of rock.

The discovery opens up the possibility of exploring parts of Canada which were thought to be incompatible with diamond production due to their geology.

Jeweller previously reported that the Canadian diamond industry was facing challenges due to low-value yields and difficult terrain in its remote mining regions.

“The outcome of the project fundamentally changes our understanding of where diamonds come from,” study lead Thomas Stachel said. “[It] has the potential to cause diamond companies to retool their approach to exploration.”

Canada’s mining industry is worth US$2 billion per year, and it is the third-largest producer of diamonds by volume.

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Tuesday, 20 August, 2019 04:33am
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