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Diamond Mining in the U.S.A.

Cut Diamond Mining

For whatever reason, very few miners are looking for diamonds in the U.S. That is a real shame, because the U.S.A. sits on an extremely old massive Craton. Cratons are the earth's diamond making factories, 150-250 miles down. Millions of years ago, some very deep eruptions took place, bringing kimberlite lava flows to the surface of what is now the United States. These powerful eruptions brought tremendous amounts of kimberlite lava to the surface through "pipes" or carrot-shaped lava tubes.

Ok, nice history lesson, where are the diamonds?

Diamonds have been found in Canada quite recently. Why no news on U.S. mined diamonds?

After these diamond eruptions took place, a lot of time went by (100 to 125 million years). Mountains rose and fell, rivers formed, died, and reformed again. However, the real kicker was the dozen plus ice ages that repeatedly gripped the Northern hemisphere. When you have a semi-permanent, mile high wall of ice slowly pushing huge quantities of earth and gravel in front of it for centuries on end, you have to figure that the land is going to look very different after the ice finally melts.

Diamonds have been found in Canada because of these very glaciers that scrubbed the northern tundras clean, miles of what is primarily bare rock. There are placer diamonds there as well, but the real treasure is the kimberlite pipes that have sat there for millions of years. Untouched. Until now.

Do you know where they found the diamond bearing pipes? Under some small lakes. The glaciers scraped the land deep during their millennia of movement into the sea. Left behind were hollow recesses that filled with water and created many small  lakes. A few of these lakes are the top of extinct volcanoes, and some of these volcanoes are diamond bearing kimberlite pipes. Obviously, not every lake is the top of an extinct volcano, but by and large that is where you will find most, but not all, kimberlite craters.

Going back to the ice ages and glaciers, there was something called the Laurentide Ice Sheet. An absolutely massive continent of ice that was miles high, and covered from the northern Arctic to ¼ way into the United States from the North.
There have been a number of ice ages and glaciers covering our land, but the Laurentian ice sheets dramatically changed our continent forever. The point is that these ice sheets pushed massive quantities of rocks, earth, and sand over part of the southern bottom of the U.S. This earthy overburden covers a portion of the bottom 2/3 of the United States.
Some diamond bearing kimberlite pipes are under that glacial debris. To make our job easier, we can use rivers to expose some of the diamonds present in the U.S.A. However, rivers will only touch or cut through a very minor portion of diamond bearing kimberlite pipes. Depending where you start looking for diamonds, you could pan or sluice glacial tailing piles that are now part of the landscape. This is where river searching will pay off. I've looked back on the old gold prospectors' original findings, and I keep coming across small quartz-like stones they found in the black sand area of their sluice boxes. In the 1800's, no one knew what an uncut diamond looked like, so the miners simply threw them back in the stream or river, not knowing what they were. Most of these incidental findings were probably glacial diamonds pushed down from Canada and washed down some of the larger rivers and streams in the U.S. These stones are tough to catch in a sluice box or pan. They were only captured by accident by the original gold prospectors, probably with a poorly set up sluice with too little water flow.

Yes, you can extract these precious stones with a diamond sluice box. I'm almost finished the one I've been working on for some years now, but it all goes back to searching appropriate areas, taking samples at different depths, and finding nature's sweet spot for accumulation of diamonds.

The next great gold rush will be "the diamond rush," coming to the United States of America very soon.


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