Over the weekend Russian Government officials spoke up after 40 years of silence, they finally gave scientists from the nearby Novosibirsk Institute of Geology and Mineralogy permission to lift the lid on the crater’s hidden gems in a meeting with journalists.
Beneath a 35 million-year-old asteroid crater in Siberia scientists believe there are ‘trillions of carats’ lying in wait – more than ten times the global stockpile.
The Kremlin has known about these vast reserves under the 62-mile-wide asteroid impact zone since the 1970s.
But until now it has kept secret because this industry is heavily controlled. But it’s been known that that they where extracting huge profits from diamond mining even back then.
The Russian industry has also been producing various artificial diamonds which has also proved to be a lucrative enterprise.
The diamonds at the site, known as Popigai Astroblem, are ‘twice as hard’ as the usual gemstones, making them ideal for industrial and scientific uses, revealed by the official news agency, ITAR-Tass.
The new source could cause a radical shake-up in the precious stones market, according to the institute’s director, Nikolai Pokhilenko, reported to The Christian Science Monitor.
He shared, that the resources of super-hard diamonds contained in rocks of the Popigai crypt o-explosion structure are by a factor of ten bigger than the world’s all known reserves.
‘We are speaking about trillions of carats. By comparison, present-day known reserves in Yakutia (a Russian mine) are estimated at one billion carats.’
The stones at Popigai are known as ‘impact diamonds’ which result when an object like a meteor strikes an existing diamond deposit.
This makes them extremely unique, which will make them even more sought-after in high-precision scientific and industrial markets.
Pokhilenko said: ‘The value of impact diamonds increases because of their unusual abrasive features and large grain size.
‘This expands significantly the scope of their industrial use and makes them more valuable for industrial purposes.’
Diamond production was booming in Russia in 2007 when output reached $1.35billion, 98 per cent of which was exported to Belgium, Israel, South-east Asia and the USA.
But the bottom fell out in 2009 when polished diamond production fell to an unprecedented low of US$350 million during the economic crisis.
With world markets beginning to show signs of resilience, this may explain why Russia has chosen now to reveal its hidden treasure.
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