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Scientists from the Institute of Mineralogy and Petrography of the RAS Siberian Branch researching the processes of formation of diamond deposits have scored brilliant achievements over the last few years-some of them can even be called sensational. Head of the Institute laboratory dealing with these problems, N. Pokhilenko, Dr. Sc. (Geol. & Mineral.) describes some of their findings.
The object of our investigations can be called a symbiosis of studies in the sphere of depth petrology, mineralogy, evolution of lithospheric mantle of ancient platforms, origin of kimberlites. It is exactly on the problems of the genesis of the latter that the fundamental part of the laboratory work gradually runs over to its applied section linked with the improvement of methods of prognostication and search for diamond deposits in complex geological conditions.
The first part of the program is carried out in cooperation with some of the leading research centers of the world-Karnegi Institute and Oceanographic Institute (USA), Khokaido University (Japan) as well as some other institutes in the USA, Great Britain and Australia. As for applied studies, they are carried out under joint projects on the basis of economic contracts with the organizations of the joint-stock company ALROSA, e.g. Yakut scientific research enterprise (leading subdivision of the company), as well as with thematic and prospecting groups of the Amakinsk and Botuobinsk geological prospecting expeditions. Besides, since 1994 the laboratory has been closely collaborating with the Canadian Winspear Resources Ltd., carrying out research in Canadian tundra. Experiments are conducted for updating Russian methods in the conditions of development of glacial sediments on ancient crystal shields. There we are also preparing future "attacks" on the territory of Anabarsk shield in the northern part of the Siberian platform.
It must be pointed out that this brilliant tradition of cooperation of scientific and production organizations, engaged in studies of geology of diamond deposits, was started by the founder of the Siberian school of diamond geology Academician Vladimir Sobolev (1908- 1982), while the initiator of founding a laboratory in 1985 was a young Corresponding Member of the USSR Academy of Sciences Nikolai Sobolev (today-an academician), who continues the work of his famous father.
The most significant result which the laboratory achieved recently is the establishment of selective diamond-content of kimberlites on the Siberian platform. We also managed to discover a new field of diamond-bearing kimberlites, including a big deposit of this precious mineral in the north of Canada. Moreover, relevant forecasts have been substantiated for two large regions of Yakutiya, one of them being located to the south of some already known diamond-bearing territories.
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