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June 2005

Australian and Canadian companies are hunting for diamonds in Alaska and Minnesota.

There are currently no functioning diamond mines in the United States, but the success companies have had in Canada have made people wonder about whether there might be also diamonds in the U.S.

In Alaska, where there is similar terrain to the Northwest Territories, a gold miner has found garnets and other indicator minerals near Tapper Creek in Anchorage. Later, seventeen microdiamonds turned up. Two Canadian companies have invested $1 million in the drilling program.

The last diamonds discovered in Alaska were three stones discovered in 1980.

In Minneapolis, a team of University of Minnesota geologists and an Australian mining company are gathering soil samples and looking for minerals, and one of the things they are looking for is diamonds.

The scientists have high hopes because Minnesota’s geology is similar to Canada’s. “There’s no question that Minnesota would be on anybody’s list as a place to explore, as having reasonable potential,” Brooke Clements, vice president of exploration for Ashton Mining, told the Associated Press.

The results of the search won’t be known for years. They are being analyzed by Australia’s WMC Resources.

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