Rare African Plant Signals Diamonds Beneath the Soil

Fun Facts
04/05/2015 12:24

A geologist has discovered a thorny, palmlike plant in Liberia that seems to grow only on top of kimberlite pipes—columns of volcanic rock hundreds of meters across that extend deep into Earth, and could be simple, powerful way of finding diamond-rich deposits. Miners have long known that particular plants can signal ore-bearing rocks, but the new plant, identified as Pandanus candelabrum, is the first indicator species for diamond-bearing kimberlite, says Stephen Haggerty, a researcher at Florida International University in Miami and the chief exploration officer of Youssef Diamond Mining Company, which owns mining concessions in Liberia.