ZIMBABWE is sitting on vast diamond deposits spread across the country, with the largest deposit reportedly around Triangle and Mwenezi in Masvingo District, The Manica Post has reported.
Investigations show that diamond deposits spread from Juliasdale in Nyanga to Binga in Matabeleland North.
The country has lost out on potential revenue following the concealing of some of the geological maps by the former colonisers. Investigations also revealed that some of the deposits were covered by vast tracks of plantations and game reserves.
Areas identified to have diamond deposits include Juliasdale, Marange, Triangle, Mwenezi, River Ranch, Ngulube, Murowa, Sese, Charter, Somabula, Quest, Binga and Katete.
Global online research engines never mention anything nearer to the existence of diamonds or any other minerals in some of the mentioned areas like Juliasdale, Triangle, Mwenezi and Somabula to mention, but a few.
An extract from a South African Journal of Geology of 2009 which this paper has in possession, published under the headline: “Landscape evolution in Zimbabwe from the Permian to present”, with implications for kimberlite prospecting shows the evolution and extent of diamond deposits in the country.
The contributors to the article include A.E Moore (Department of Geology, Rhodes University, Grahamstown, South Africa), F.P.D (woody) Cotterill (Africa Earth Observatory Network and Department of Geological Sciences, University of Cape Town, South Africa), T Broderick (Number 19 Jenkinson Road, Chisipite, Harare) and D Plowes (Number 49, Arcadia Road, Tigers Kloof, Mutare).
According to the journal, most of the diamond deposits have their roots in Nyanga and Chimanimani.
“An early conundrum in identifying the provenance of the Somabula diamonds was the origin of the staurolite and kyanite that dominates the associated heavy mineral assemblage, as neither phase was not known to occur to the south-east, the apparent source of many of the associated clasts or indeed anywhere else in the country.
“The upper reaches of major exhumed Karoo drainages such as the Ngezi, Munyati and Sebakwe flow away from the Nyanga and Chimanimani highlands in eastern Zimbabwe. These two areas of mountainland, therefore provide a plausible source for the staurolite and kyanite that dominate the heavy mineral suite of the basal Somabula gravels,” reads the journal.
It is further stated that one of the long-standing conundrums in Zimbabwe diamond prospecting has been the primary kimberlite source of the Somabula diamonds.
“The pipes immediately to the south of Lake Kariba intrude Karoo sediments, while the Colossus and River Ranch kimberlites have early Palaeozoic ages. Field evidence suggests that most of the kimberlites to the south of the modern watershed are pre-Karoo age. The Murowa-Sese kimberlites are located directly up the Karoo palaeo-slope from the Somabula deposit.
“They are diamond-bearing, with Murowa being mined by Rio Tinto Zimbabwe, and thus represent plausible sources for the diamonds in the Somabula basal gravels. Kimberlites in the Murowa-Sese cluster could potentially also be the source of G10 garnets recovered in the Daisyfield and Mambo pathfinder anomalies,” notes the journal.
It further states that: “Recently, alluvial diamonds have been discovered in the Save Valley at Chiadzwa, just to the south of the Marange kimberlites. Details of the geological setting are very sketchy, but this appears to be a second-cycle alluvial deposit, with the diamonds reworked from local basal conglomerate of the Umkondo Group. The majority of the stones are reported to be of poor quality, but a subordinate number are of exceptional quality.
“The diamonds characteristically have a black coating, indicative of radioactive damage followed by metamorphic heating. A singular characteristic of the Marange alluvial diamonds is the high proportion of rounded and fractured stones that the appearance of having been mechanically abraded.
“This contrasts with the sharp crystal faces that characterise a major proportion of the diamonds recovered from other southern African alluvial deposits. The primary source of the Marange alluvial stones is an enigma, but is inferred to be located to the west.”