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Newly-found 'super-deep diamond' in Africa contains a rare Earth mineral never seen before on our planet
A never-before-seen mineral has been discovered in a stunning 'super-deep diamond' formed in the Earth's mantle. Calcium silicate perovskite is usually buried 400 miles below the surface and is thought to be the planet’s fourth most abundant mineral.
The researchers found the mineral within a tiny diamond mined less than one kilometre (0.62 miles) beneath Earth's crust, at South Africa's famous Cullan Mine, best known as the source for two of the largest diamonds in the British Crown Jewels. The researchers say that the finding provides proof that slabs of oceanic crust that sink deep within the Earth are recycled into the lower mantle.
Nobody has ever managed to keep this mineral stable at the Earth's surface, said Dr Graham Pearson, a professor in the University of Alberta's Department of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences and one of the best known diamond researchers in the world. He explained the mineral is normally found deep inside Earth's mantle, at 700 kilometres (435 miles).
The only possible way of preserving this mineral at the Earth's surface is when it's trapped in an unyielding container like a diamond, he explained. Based on our findings, there could be as much as zetta tonnes (1021) of this perovskite in deep Earth.