|Posted by Dan Hausel, Soke on July 1, 2015 at 5:40 PM|
Some time ago, I found myself in Australia on a field conference designed to exchange information on the new diamond discoveries in the Aussie outback. Most commercial diamond deposits occur in a rock type referred to as kimberlite, but others are found in placers (stream deposits). The Australian discovery was unique in that diamonds were found in olivine lamproite - and at Argyle mine, the amount of diamonds found in the ore was incredibly high AND, they found many rare pink, brown and yellow fancy diamonds. Prior to the Australian discovery, diamonds had been found in Colorado and Wyoming. A short time later, commercial diamond deposits were also identified in Smoke Creek, in the Ellendale olivine lamproite field and at the Merlin kimberlite.
Commercial diamond deposits had already been found in South Africa, India and Brazil, but new minable sources had been slow coming until the Australian discoveries. This opened up new exploration grounds for other diamond deposits and finally led up to many diamond discoveries in Russia, China and also in Canada.
BUT, on our international field conference - a challenged was issued! Could any of the black belt geologists from the USA and from Japan break the tops off of the hardened termite mounds? I accepted the challenge for the US. At the end of the conference - we were pretty close to being tied but I won! My success was related to my teaching rock breaking 101 in the University of Wyoming Shorin-Ryu Karate club.
Top photo shows termite mound in foreground with a lamproite butte in background at Ellendale. Above photo is the Argyle mine as it appeared in 1986 and lower photos were taken at our Rock Breaking 101 class. Upper photo shows Grandmaster Hausel preparing to break rock after a very, very short lecture on rock types. Lower photo shows Kyle Gewecke from Gillette, Wyoming breaking a piece of limestone (mother nature's concrete).