Siberia | Materials, extraction

Declassified Siberian superhard diamonds to dishevel global market?

17 Sep '12
A new deposit of superhard diamonds, twice as hard as the ordinary ones, has been declassified and is potentially capable of shaking up the global diamond market, Russian news agency ITAR-TASS Siberia reports citing scientists from the Institute of Geology and Mineralogy of the Siberian branch of the Russian Academy of Sciences, Novosibirsk.

The deposit is reportedly located in an area between Siberias Krasnoyarsk region and Yakutia next to what is known as the Popigaisky cryptoexplosion structure, a 100km wide meteorite crater believed to be 35 million years old. It was first uncovered back in the 1970s, and Soviet geologists found the superhard diamonds had a different molecular structure. However, the then Kremlin bet on building plants to make synthesized diamonds, and the Popigaisky research was shelved; the data available by that time was classified.

Now that the scientists have come to rediscover the mineral the diamonds may be in great demand across economic sectors for their unconventional properties.

According to Academician Nikolai Pokhilenko, director of the Institute of Geology and Mineralogy, the first research into the mineral is enough to predict a possible revolution in the entire global diamond market What has been found in the Popigaisky cryptoexplosion structure exceeds in the amount of diamonds everything known across the planet by a factor of ten. We talk about trillions of carats; for comparison, the proven diamond deposits in the entire Republic of Yalutia are only estimated in the billions of carats.

Gennady Nikitin, deputy director of the Yakutnipromalmaz, warns that the Popigaisky diamonds can shake things up, and its unclear what will happen to prices in this market.

The new diamonds may be used in metalworking, making efficient semiconductors, and in many other areas, the source said.

The Siberian scientists claim this type of diamonds has been found nowhere else in the world, which prompts experts to suggest its extraterrestrial origin.

According to estimates, this mineral supply will be enough for the whole world for three thousand years.

The diamonds are already the focus of attention for some large-scale corporations, according to a communiqué released in the wake of Interra-2012, an international innovation forum held just recently in Novosibirsk.
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