Hitting diamond

India has deposits in Andhra Pradesh

Published: Tuesday 31 May 2005

Indian scientists have stumbled upon a rare deposit of tiny diamonds with potential industrial applications, along the beaches of the Krishna-Godavari delta in Andhra Pradesh. These micro diamonds, 0.5 millimetre or smaller in size, were discovered by scientists of the Hyderabad-based Atomic Minerals Directorate for Exploration and Research (AMDER) while surveying for minerals used in the nuclear industry.

The deposit seems significant as eight to 15 grains of micro diamonds were found in the 100 different sections the scientists studied. According to the study that appeared in the April 25, 2005 issue of the journal Current Science, this deposit is the first of its kind found in India. Depending on the quality, these micro diamonds can be used in jewelry and watches or tools to cut bigger diamonds and other hard material. "There exists the possibility of finding even bigger diamonds in the region," says AMDER scientist G Viswanathan.

"Micro diamonds are usually imported from countries such as Belgium and Russia and hence this could be an important find," says Dinesh Shah of Ahmedabad Diamond Association. He, however, adds that the discovery will be of value only if extraction is done in an economically viable manner. AMDER scientists admit they have not looked at the cost-effectiveness aspect of the exploitation.

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