Ice Mountains in Antarctica may be harbouring diamonds

Johannesburg, Dec. 18 : A team of Australian researchers has found a new type of rock that often bears diamonds, in Antarctica- the icy continent that is off limits to mining.

A 1991 environmental accord banned mining for at least 50 years under the Antarctic Treaty that preserves the continent for scientific research and wildlife, from penguins to seals.

Researchers found East Antarctic deposits of kimberlite, a rare type of rock named after Kimberley- famed for a late 19th century diamond rush- in the Prince Charles Mountains, reported.

No diamonds were found during the geological work that is allowed on the continent. Kimberlite, a volcanic rock from deep below the Earth's surface, has now been discovered on all continents.

Geologists doubted the find could be commercial, largely due to Antarctica's remoteness, cold and winter darkness.

The study was published in the journal Nature Communications.

--ANI (Posted on 18-12-2013)

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