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Could Antarctica be teeming with diamonds ?

Posted on Wednesday, 18 December, 2013 | Comment icon 11 comments

Are there diamonds in Antarctica's mountains ? Image Credit: CC BY-SA 2.0 Liam Quinn

A new discovery has opened up the possibility of a diamond rush in the world's coldest continent.

A team of researchers studying the geology of Antarctica's Prince Charles Mountains recently discovered something unexpected, a type of rock known as kimberlite that is only rarely found at the Earth's surface because it forms deep in the Earth's mantle where conditions also tend to favor the formation of diamonds.

While no actual diamonds were found in the sample, the signature of these minerals matches those of other places on the planet where diamonds have been found. The rocks are believed to have been forced upwards more than 120 million years ago when much of the world was part of a supercontinent known as Gondwana.

If indeed there are diamonds in Antarctica's mountains then there is the chance we could be looking at a 21st century diamond rush, but with only a small percentage of such discoveries ultimately proving to be economically viable it is unclear whether we are likely to be seeing diamond mines in Antarctica any time soon.

Source: The Australian | Comments (11)

Tags: Antarctica, Diamond

Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #2 Posted by pallidin on 18 December, 2013, 2:19
Such a huge continent, presumably with vast resources. From a fairly recent documentary on PBS, they showed how important Antarctica, left alone, is to positive global climate conditions. I have mixed feelings on this, but I sure don't want to mess-up our planet.
Comment icon #3 Posted by Sundew on 18 December, 2013, 13:05
Ha, De Beers would rush in and buy the continent! Got to keep the price of "ice" high!
Comment icon #4 Posted by third_eye on 18 December, 2013, 13:15
great ... the mistresses are whooping for joy all across the planet ... ~
Comment icon #5 Posted by Jacques Terreur on 18 December, 2013, 13:53
i really do hope this turns out to be wrong, otherwise a whole eco system will be dug over in search for stupid shiny rocks. Plus: i don't wanna deal with having bloody migrating Penguins guano-ing all over my back yard.
Comment icon #6 Posted by Jacques Terreur on 18 December, 2013, 13:55
Penguins..... .
Comment icon #7 Posted by moonshadow60 on 18 December, 2013, 15:22
There are more important things in this world than diamonds. Leave Antarctica alone, people.
Comment icon #8 Posted by Jacques Terreur on 18 December, 2013, 15:25
the only problem is: there aren't much more profitable things in this world than diamonds... edit: typo
Comment icon #9 Posted by paperdyer on 18 December, 2013, 15:41
You mean we already haven't? All the Diamond companies will wait for Antartica to thaw before trying to ine there unless low-cost laser drills are developed. If traditional mining techniques are used the Diamond companies will have to "import" their labor force with probably some type of hazard or premium paly due to the weather conditions.
Comment icon #10 Posted by DONTEATUS on 19 December, 2013, 1:56
We better leave antarctica be,We will push our planet over the edge If we develop this part of our world ! Mark my words !
Comment icon #11 Posted by supervike on 19 December, 2013, 20:14
If we as a society stop putting such emphasis on Diamonds, they'd fall back to their real worth....pretty shiny rocks.

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