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ArticleName Experimental validation of interconnection between kimberlite composition and mechanism of formation of mineral species on the surface of natural diamonds
DOI 10.17580/gzh.2017.11.09
ArticleAuthor Dvoichenkova G. P., Kovalchuk O. E., Podkamennyi Yu. A., Timofeev A. S.

Academician Melnikov Institute of Integrated Mineral Development – IPKON, Russian Academy of Sciences, Moscow, Russia:

G. P. Dvoichenkova, Leading Researcher, Candidate of Engineering Sciences,
Yu. A. Podkamennyi, Engineer

A. S. Timofeev, Junior Researcher

Research and Exploration Works, ALROSA Group, Mirny, Russia:

O. E. Kovalchuk, Chief Engineer


Based on a series of mineralogical studies, the identity of compositions of altered kimberlite and kimberlite processing slime has been found. The content of clayey minerals of the type of talc, talc-saponite, chloritesaponite, Na-saponite and X-ray amorphous phase is high—to 50%. Calcite, dolomite and serpentine are present, too. The surface composition of natural diamonds when interacting with the identified minerals is studied using the methods of optical and infrared spectroscopy of the X-ray spectrum microanalysis. The tests involved kimberlite of different material constitution, finely disperse slimes after kimberlite processing and diamond crystals from products of kimberlite ore processing. The natural diamond crystals extracted from kimberlite ore and processing products were of three types: naturally hydrophobic crystals free from mineral species on the surface; naturally hydrophobic crystals with a few mineral species on the surface; naturally hydrophilic crystals with the dense surface coating of mineral species. It is shown that the surface of natural diamonds with mineral species formed on it is nonuniform, characterized by spread of calcium and magnesium carbonate films and has a mosaic coat of microsize admixtures from hydrophilic magnesium silica of talc-serpentine type with the increased mass fraction of iron. The area and depth of spread of mineral species on the surfaces of naturally hydrophobic and hydrophilic diamonds is provisional. The mechanism of formation and attachment of mineral species on the surface of crystals in the course of processing of altered kimberlite consists in the degree of conformity between parameters of crystal lattices of a crystallizing substance and a crystal surface has for the first time been discovered, and the classification of 4 types of mineral species forming on the surface of natural diamonds has for the first time been proposed. The experiments have been implemented in the laboratories of IPKON and Yakutniproalmaz Institutes and at Research and Explorations Works, ALROSA.
The study has been carried out in the framework of IPKON RAS R&D Program No. 0138-2014-0002 under support of Academician V. A. Chanturia School, Grant No. 74820145.

keywords Diamond, kimberlite, mineral species, spectroscopy, modification, slime, admixtures

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