Diamondiferous peridotitic microxenoliths from the Diavik Diamond Mine, NT

Steven Creighton*, Thomas Stachel, Hayley McLean, Karlis Muehlenbachs, Antonio Simonetti, Dave Eichenberg, Robert Luth

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

32 Citations (Scopus)


Twenty-five diamonds recovered from 21 diamondiferous peridotitic micro-xenoliths from the A154 South and North kimberlite pipes at Diavik (Slave Craton) match the general peridotitic diamond production at this mine with respect to colour, carbon isotopic composition, and nitrogen concentrations and aggregation states. Based on garnet compositions, the majority of the diamondiferous microxenoliths is lherzolitic (G9) in paragenesis, in stark contrast to a predominantly harzburgitic (G10) inclusion paragenesis for the general diamond production. For garnet inclusions in diamonds from A154 South, the lherzolitic paragenesis, compared to the harzburgitic paragenesis, is distinctly lower in Cr content. For microxenolith garnets, however, Cr contents for garnets of both the parageneses are similar and match those of the harzburgitic inclusion garnets. Assuming that the microxenolith diamonds reflect a sample of the general diamond population, the abundant Cr-rich lherzolitic garnets formed via metasomatic overprinting of original harzburgitic diamond sources subsequent to diamond formation, conversion of original harzburgitic diamond sources occurred in the course of metasomatic overprint re-fertilization. Metasomatic overprinting after diamond formation is supported by the finding of a highly magnesian olivine inclusion (Fo95) in a microxenolith diamond that clearly formed in a much more depleted environment than indicated by the composition of its microxenolith host. Chondrite normalized REE patterns of microxenolith garnets are predominantly sinusoidal, similar to observations for inclusion garnets. Sinusoidal REEN patterns are interpreted to indicate a relatively mild metasomatic overprint through a highly fractionated (very high LREE/HREE) fluid. The predominance of such patterns may explain why the proposed metasomatic conversion of harzburgite to lherzolite appears to have had no destructive effect on diamond content.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)541-554
Number of pages14
JournalContributions to Mineralogy and Petrology
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - May 2008
Externally publishedYes


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