Russia's large and super abrasive diamonds stir up world markets

Diamond rush is expected in Russia. The news of unusual diamonds discovered at the border of Krasnoyarsk and Yakutia in Russia has stirred up the world market. Scientists predict a revolution that will give a strong impetus to technical progress and allow the country to strengthen its position in the world stage.

The unusual deposit was classified as "secret" in the 1970's, when the country was ruled by socialism.

The diamonds were discovered by Soviet geologists in Popigai impact structure - Meteor Crater area of ​​100 km, formed on the Earth 35 million years ago. However, in the industrial age the news of the extraordinary discovery did not excite the world market. The then government decided to rely on synthetic minerals and actively started to build factories for the production thereof. Soviet authorities chose to keep silent about solid impactites, ending the study of a mysterious find of the Soviet scientists.

The information was declassified back in 1990. Since then, Russian and international scientists have repeatedly returned to the study of minerals from Popigai crater. Today, the interest to the amazing diamonds has reached its climax.

The uniqueness of the diamonds lurking in Popigai basin lies not only in their abrasive ability (which is more than twice of the usual minerals), but their structure and large grain size. According to academics, the extra-hard diamond resources far exceed the world's proven reserves. According to the statement of Nicholas Pokhilenko, director of the Institute of Geology and Mineralogy, we are talking about a trillion of carats. However, the purpose of the carat is not decorating clothes and human life. Academics see the future of this high-tech material in technical progress.

The diamonds are supposed to be used in such segments of space technology as vehicles or manufacture of environmentally friendly engines. In addition, scientists believe that a revolution can be expected in the tool, stone-cutting and drilling industry. Meanwhile, academics called forecasts of a powerful revolution in the diamond market fiction, because the jewelry industry is regulated primarily by raw materials jewelry, and "pipigai diamonds" in the USSR were recognized as "technical".

"In some areas they can displace synthetic diamonds, for example, in the jewelry industry, in the manufacture of turbines, precision parts for aircraft, where necessary, precision engineering, the manufacture of composite materials such as wear resistance bearings," said Nikolai Pihilenko as reported by RIA Novosti.

According to RAS, the reserves of impactites formed in the fall of a meteorite are enough for three thousand years. It is also reported that the monopoly of this unique industrial raw material belongs to the Russian Federation. Does this mean that in the near future Russia will not only envelop the near and far territory with the pipelines and supply its neighbors with "black gold", but will become a major supplier of strategic raw materials - "industrial diamonds"?

Skeptics argue that such a situation is possible, but the third pillar of the Russian economy will take time to develop. The reason is that the declassified super-hard diamond deposits are located in a remote place. There is no infrastructure in the area of Pipigai ​​excavation. It turns out that it will be extremely difficult to get to the field, but it is only the first problem. Russian scientists have yet to develop a method of extraction of minerals. Only after a sufficient quantity of diamonds is extracted, scientists will be able to evaluate their performance and the country will be able to enter the world market with the new raw materials.

However, today diamonds sparked the interest of large corporations not only in Russia but also abroad. Valentin Afanasiev, Dr. of geological-mineralogical sciences told that last year at an international conference in Houston Russian academics attracted genuine interest of "Baker Hughes". Movers and shakers of the world's third large oil and gas services company said at the conference that if the abrasive capacity of their drills is increased by 20%, it will be a revolution. Meanwhile, in the case of the unique diamonds found in the Russian Federation, the abrasive ability could rise by as much as 100%. This news could not fail to interest the Western oil companies. In addition, the interest was expressed by "The Sixth Element", which is part of "De Beers" corporation.

Attention of foreign oil and sweet dreams about the enrichment of the Russian economy by a new unique resource found in excess in Russia have prompted the decision to continue the undertakings of the Soviet predecessors. According to Nikolai Pihilenko, a new expedition to Popigai is planned for next year, during which the minerals will be further explored. According to the scientist, company "ALROSA" and Laboratory Element Six wish to take part in the study.

Maria Snytkova.

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Author`s name Dmitry Sudakov