Wednesday
April 23, 2014
Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Scientists: Antarctica may have diamonds

A kind of rock that often contains diamonds has been found in Antarctica for the first time, hinting at mineral riches in the vast, icy continent - where mining is banned.

No diamonds were found, but researchers said they were confident the gems were there.

"It would be very surprising if there weren't diamonds in these kimberlites," Greg Yaxley of the Australian National University in Canberra, who led the research, said in a telephone interview.

Writing in the journal Nature Communications, an Australian-led team reported finding the kimberlite deposits around Mount Meredith, in the Prince Charles Mountains in East Antarctica. Kimberlite is a rare rock where diamonds are often found; it is named after the South African town of Kimberley, the site of a late 19th-century diamond rush.

That does not mean Antarctica will soon see its own diamond rush. Antarctica is not only forbiddingly cold and remote but also protected by a treaty that preserves the continent for scientific research and wildlife, from penguins to seals. The 1991 environmental accord banned mining for at least 50 years.

"I don't think it's terribly practical that anyone could actually explore successfully and, personally, I hope that mining does not take place," Yaxley said.

Others geologists doubted the find held much commercial value. Less than 10 percent of the deposits of similar kimberlite are economically viable, said Teal Riley of the British Antarctic Survey. "It's a big leap from here to mining," he told Reuters.

  • CommentComment
  • Increase font size Decrease font sizeSize
  • Email article
    email
  • Print
    Print
  • Share
    1. Vote
    2. Not interesting Little interesting Interesting Very interesting Indispensable
Tags:  Antarctica  diamonds  


  • Comment
  • Increase font size Decrease font size
  • mail
  • Print

COMMENTS >

Comment



Grupo ámbito ámbito financiero ambito.com Docsalud AlRugby.com Premium El Ciudadano El Tribuno Management

Director: Orlando Mario Vignatti - Edition No. 4108 - This publication is a property of NEFIR S.A. - RNPI Nº 5099332 - Issn 1852 - 9224 - Te. 4349-1500 - San Juan 141 , (C1063ACY) CABA