Contrasting Kimberlites and Lamproites

Exploration & Mining Geology, Vol. 1, No. 4, 1992

BARBARA H. SCOTT SMITH, North Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada

During the last two decades lamproites have joined kimberlites as the only two known primary sources of economic quantities of diamonds. This paper contrasts the petrography, primary and xenocrystic mineralogy and pipe geology of these petrogenetically separate rock types. The petrographic discrimination of kimberlites and lamproites from each other, as well as other rock types found during diamond prospecting, is discussed. Kimberlites and lamproites can be classified texturally and mineralogically. Such classifications highlight the differences between, and among, lamproites and kimberlites. The implications of these differences for diamond exploration programs are discussed, with particular emphasis on the application of petrography.