Diamond Exploration and Resource Evaluation of Kimberlites

Kimberlites are the main source of natural gem-quality diamonds. The intrepid diamond explorer faces three major problems. First, finding a small, usually less than 300 m diameter, kimberlite, which is often highly weathered. Second, evaluating the quantity of diamonds within a kimberlite that often consists of multiple phases of intrusive and extrusive kimberlite, each with potentially different diamond grades. Third, evaluating the rough diamonds, the value of which is dependent on carat-weight, shape, colour, and clarity. Modern advances in mantle petrology, geophysics, geochemistry, geomorphology, and geostatistics now complement historical exploration knowledge and aid in selecting prospective target areas, resource estimation, and evaluating kimberlite-hosted diamond deposits.

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