TIRUPATI: The diamond potential of Rayalaseema is back in focus with a team of international experts visiting the areas where diamondbearing kimberlite is found in abundance. It may be recalled that geological surveys undertaken as a part of the National Diamond Project found 53 kimberlite formations in the region.
Last week, a team of 37 experts, including 18 kimberlite specialists, from South Africa, Canada, Australia, Germany, France, Norway, Finland, Italy, Spain, Malaysia, England and other countries participated in an idea sharing programme in the district, organised by the Geological Survey of India. As many as 10 geologists and nine other experts form GSI joined the international team. Some of the international experts were from the famous diamond company De Beers.
In fact, a team of De Beers scientists conducted an aerial survey using ultrahigh resolution magnetic equipment a few years ago to identify kimberlite resources in the region.
The visit of experts to Vajrakarur and other areas in the district was a prelude to the weeklong 10th international conference on kimberlite in Bengaluru, which commenced on Monday.
Led by GSI's Bengaluru training centre director KR Naik and GSI Vajrakaruru camp incharge Ravi, the 37member team visited Lepakshi in Hindupur constituency, Ramagiri in Penugonda Constituency and Chigacherla village in Dharmvaram to inspect the places where kimberlite is found.
The team also visited Pillalapalle, Timmasamduram, Bhramasamduru and
Nagareddypell villages. At Nagareddypalle, the experts collected soil and stone samples from the field of one Umapathi, a farmer. The team also visited Latthavaram, L Thanda and Venkatampalle Thanda of Urvakonda mandal.
According to sources, rich kimberlite deposits were found in Timmasamudram mandal four years ago and international organisations proposed to acquire 1,500 acres for diamond mining.
Already, geologists have collected soil and mineral samples in Penukonda, Dharmvaram, Kalyanadurgam, Brahma Samduram Pamidi in Andhra Pradesh and Rayachur in Karnataka. Those samples were displayed at the GSI camp museum at Vajrakarur. The visiting team of experts also examined those samples.
The team also visited Belum caves and Banaganapalle in Kurnool district, and the areas along Tungabhadra river. After the conference, the experts will visit diamond cutting and polishing units in Bengaluru and Surat.
At Vajrakarur, members of the visiting team were informed of the GIS's activities pertaining to kimberlite, the extent of the resources in the region, quality, different types of diamonds available and the Indian government's policy concerning diamond mining and trade. The visiting experts also shared information on diamond mining in their respective countries.