A recent study conducted by researchers from Curtin University, mining company Rio Tinto, and international colleagues investigated the formation of pink diamonds and their connection to supercontinent fragmentation. The study focused on the famous Argyle diamond mine in Western Australia, which produces over 90% of the world’s pink diamonds.

By analyzing material from the mine, the researchers determined that the volcanic eruption that brought the diamonds to the surface occurred approximately 1.3 billion years ago, coinciding with the fragmentation of the supercontinent Nuna. The formation of pink diamonds begins in the depths of the Earth’s crust, where carbon crystallizes into colorless diamonds under immense pressure.

The collision of continental blocks, as seen in Kimberley and northern Australia, caused deformation in the diamond crystals, leading to their pink coloration. The researchers also discovered that the diamonds needed to rapidly ascend to the surface through a volcanic eruption in order to preserve their diamond form.

Although the study sheds light on the formation of pink diamonds and their connection to supercontinent fragmentation events, finding similar diamond deposits remains a challenge. Veins connecting continental blocks can be covered by sediments for millions or billions of years, hiding potential diamond deposits. Additionally, diamond-bearing pipes are often narrow, further complicating their discovery.

Despite these challenges, the study provides valuable information for prospectors and the diamond industry in locating possible sites for pink diamonds. Understanding the geological processes behind the formation of these rare gems can help narrow down potential areas for exploration and mining. However, the process of finding pink diamonds is expected to remain complex and require extensive research and exploration efforts.

– Main Source: Nature Communications: “The timing of mantle metasomatism in the formation of the Argyle diamond deposit, Western Australia”
– Additional Source: ABC News Australia: “Argyle diamonds: Outback mine’s famous pink gems born from ancient supercontinent breakup”