Youssef Diamond Mining Company (YDMC), Liberian diamond mining company has announced discovery of what could turn out to be the largest diamond field in West Africa.
Responsible for the discovery of Liberia’s kimberlite dike deposits was South African-born geologist Steve Haggerty, YDMC chief geologist. YMDC CEO Roger Youssef explained that a diamond-bearing kimberlite pipe 2.5 ha in area, along with five dikes 10 m in width and 50 m to 100 m in length were discovered at Camp Alpha in north-western Liberia by YMDC.
“The area has been worked sporadically for the past 75 years by local, small-scale alluvial miners and explored by several mining companies, but the diamond source was never found,” Youssef said.
Work undertaken this year had led to the discovery of two new kimberlite pipes based on the exotic botanical indicator Pandanus candelabrum. Youssef explained that the pipes are relatively small (50 m x 15 m), but that both have positive kimberlitic indicator minerals.
Another five potential pipes were indicated following advanced space borne thermal emission and reflection radiometer (Aster) satellite images, one of which was similar in its signature, but substantially larger than the pipe at Camp Alpha, Haggerty pointed out. In addition to these, transported ilmenite with distinctive chemical compositions indicated that another kimberlite cluster was present to the north of the Camp Alpha discovery. These will be the first large-scale diamond mining operations in the country, with clear economic benefits to the government and the people of Liberia, Haggerty and Youssef acclaimed.