Nature and genesis of Kalimantan diamonds

C.B. Smith, G.P. Bulanova, S.C. Kohn, H.J. Milledge, A.E. Hall, D.G. Pearson, Brendan Griffin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

31 Citations (Scopus)


The origin of alluvial diamonds from the four main diamond mining districts in Kalimantan was studied through characterisation of their properties, and determination of PT and age of formation of representative collections of diamonds from four localities of the island. The diamonds are mostly colourless, yellow or pale brown, shiny surfaced, dodecahedroids, octahedron/dodecahedroids, and more rarely cube combination forms. They are intensively resorbed. They have surface radiation damage and show abrasion features indicative of fluvial transportation and crustal recycling.The diamonds were polished down to expose internal structures and mineral inclusions. The majority of the diamonds are internally homogeneous or have simple octahedral zonation and show plastic deformation. Analysis by Fourier transform infra red spectroscopy of their N content and aggregation characteristics shows that many diamonds are well-aggregated type IaB implying a long-term, mantle residence time and/or high temperatures of formation.Identified inclusion parageneses are 68% peridotitic and 32% eclogitic. The peridotitic inclusions are represented by olivine, chromite, garnet, orthopyroxene and pentlandite. Olivines (Fo92–93) belong to the dunite–harzburgite paragenesis, with one at Fo90 identified as lherzolitic. Chromite inclusions with 65–66 wt.% Cr2O3 and <1 wt.% TiO2 are typical of chromite diamond inclusions world-wide. Two garnet inclusions identified are a subcalcic high chrome harzburgite “G10” and a mildly subcalcic type transitional between “G9” and “G10”.The eclogitic inclusions are represented by omphacite, rutile, kyanite and coesite.Re/Os dating of a high Ni sulphide inclusion from one peridotitic diamond gave an Archean model age of 3.1 Ga ± 0.2 (2 sigma).In terms of their external and internal morphology, N aggregation characteristics and paragenesis the Kalimantan diamonds resemble those transported to surface by kimberlite or lamproite from sources in the subcontinental lithospheric mantle. Five distinctive genetic groups of diamond have been recognised but occur mixed in each of the four diamond mining districts due to a presumed long history of sedimentary recycling and alluvial transportation. Thermobarometry calculations from diamond inclusion chemistry (930 °C to 1250 °C; > 4.2 GPa) are consistent with a paleo-heat flow of 38 to 40 mW/m2 and derivation from 120 to 160 km depth, i.e. subcontinental mantle lithosphere conditions similar to diamonds from African and Yakutian cratonic situations.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)822-832
Issue numbersupp. 2
Publication statusPublished - 2009


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