Geologists at the National Geophysical Research Institute in Hyderabad, India, have published a study claiming that India’s southeastern regions may have enough kimberlite to make the country dominate the world’s diamond market in the near future.
In the paper, published in its latest issue of the Geological Society of America, the team says the 200,000 square kilometres-area in India’s south contains kimberlites and lamproites, the kinds of rocks that are likely indicators of the presence of the precious gems.
Instead of searching an entire landscape for diamond-bearing rocks, which tend to crumble easily and are often difficult to identify, the researchers developed a variety of techniques to search for key diamond-forming conditions within the mantle, and then later explore promising areas on land.
They said they have found evidence that the local lithosphere — the first layer on the surface of the planet— is thick enough to facilitate diamond formation and it also presents temperatures and pressures that lead to diamond formation.
Das Sharma and his team plan to share their results with the Indian government.
Image by Acedip