This new and sophisticated technique could bring an exponential increase in the productivity of this industry
Although it may seem contradictory with recent findings, such as that of the largest diamond in the world, the truth is that There is no specific way to find these minerals.. In many cases, it is a matter of trial and error until places are found that are rich in this element. However, unlike other types of mining, such as copper, with its largest deposit found thanks to AI, there are no similar methods for diamonds. At least until now, since a geologist has found a way to find them more easily.
A new way to find diamonds
Diamond mining represents one of the most complex challenges within the mining industry, essentially because it is very difficult to find diamonds; There is no method that allows you to easily guess where they are. Unlike other minerals, there is no infallible strategy to find diamonds, which has led to the constant search for methods that guarantee sustained extraction over time, but at the moment they did not exist.
In this context, the work of Andrea Giuliani and her team has been published in Nature, which has been ongoing since 2015, has shed light on the formation and location of diamonds through the analysis of kimberlite, a type of magmatic rock. closely associated with the formation of diamonds. The presence of kimberlite is indicative of continental blocks with very old geological ages, located mainly in stable regions such as Canada, South America, Africa, Australia and Siberia.
“In rock samples where olivine was very rich in iron, there were no or very few diamonds” – Andrea Giuliani
With a quite innovative perspective, Giuliani and his team have focused the study on the chemical composition of kimberlite, in particular the relationship between iron and magnesium in the mineral of the olivine group, which makes up around half of this rock. . They found that a higher concentration of iron in olivine usually indicates a lower presence of diamonds. Thus, the areas with a high concentration of iron in this mineral They are poor in diamonds.
In addition, the study has allowed greater clarity in the process of metasomatism, which alters the composition of the rocks of the mantle where diamonds are formed. For the formation of iron-rich olivine, hot liquids which cause the more than possible decomposition of the diamonds in those areas. This has also allowed us to know the journey that kimberlite makes through the depths of the earthshowing that diamonds only survive the journey if methods that can melt them beforehand are not involved.
“Our study shows that diamonds remain intact only when kimberlites carry fragments of the mantle on their way up that have not interacted extensively with previous melting” – Andrea Giuliani
Given all this, the company De Beers, a leader in the diamond industry, has decided to adopt this analysis method within its own to try to find diamonds more easily. After all, they are looking for multiple ways to replicate diamondsamong them, creating them with a particle accelerator, something that has been very close to being achieved.
- Although diamond mining is very important, there has never been a concrete way to locate these gems.
- Now, Andrea Giuliani has tried to analyze the way in which these carbonaceous creations are formed.
- He has based his research on the analysis of kimberlite, which is found in geologically stable regions.
- This study will allow us to better understand how diamonds are formed and how to find them.
- Kimberlite is key to this event.
- De Beers, a leading company in the world of diamonds, has adopted the Giuliani analysis method to ensure a constant flow of diamonds.
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