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A meteorite crash in the Siberian region of Russia which took place millions of years ago, is said to have brought trillions of carats of diamonds along with it. The scientists in Russia have claimed that Russia has a huge diamond field which has enough industrial diamonds to fulfill the entire global market demand for the next 3000 years. The diamond field was discovered during the early 1970s and it is situated under a crater left by a meteorite which crashed close to 35 million years ago.
The meteorite crater known as Popigai crater was found at the time when Russia was under the Soviet rule. This discovery is bound to transform the diamond industry of the world. Officials from the Russian Academy of Sciences’ Siberian branch have confirmed that the crater located in eastern Siberia holds trillions of carats of ‘impact diamonds’. These diamonds can be used in hi-tech gadgets and have many other technological uses. However, they cannot be used for jewelry making or designing. Reportedly, the entire Siberian diamond field contains more diamonds than all the present known deposits around the world.
The head of the Geological and Mineralogical Institute in Novosibirsk, Nikolai Pokhilenko, had informed news agencies that another molecular form of carbon is also found in the diamonds from the Popigai crater. He had also mentioned that they could possess qualities and a crystalline form which makes them nearly twice as hard as traditional diamonds. This would give them a supreme grade for industrial use. He had stated that the discovery has the potential to revolutionize many industries. But he had also clarified that it would not affect the global diamond market since it is regulated by the availability of diamonds which can be used for making and designing jewelry.
Pokhilenko had further explained that the unmatched toughness of the diamonds is probably due to the extremely high temperature and immense pressure exerted on carbon molecules at the time of explosion during the meteorite crash. He had shared that his institute was planning to send a group of explorers to the field in partnership with the Russian diamond mining company Alrosa, which is state-controlled. The meteorite left a 60-mile (100-kilometer) crater in Siberia when it expectedly crashed about 35 million years ago and at the same time gave Russia trillions of carats of diamonds.
Officials at the Russian Academy of Sciences’ Siberian branch had said that the economic aspects of their expedition needed further evaluation. Their scientists had met in Novosibirsk to discuss the issue. Efforts were being made to evaluate the environmental and economic aspects of mining activity in the region. New updates about the study are yet to be revealed by Russian officials. It would be interesting to see how the present government of Russia discloses more information about the diamond field as it is known for holding back information from its citizens and being non-transparent about policies.
The deposit was found in the early 1970s by Soviet scientists. The Soviet leadership however, opted not to explore the field and instead chose to produce synthetic diamonds for industrial uses. Not until the collapse of the Soviet Union in late 1991, was the discovery of this field made known to the world. It was kept top-secret and remained confidential for close to two decades. The revelation that the meteorite crash gave Russia trillions of carats of diamonds has spiked interest in the discovery.
By Ankur Sinha