Abstract

Samples of carbonado from Brazil and the Central African Republic were studied with the use of electron backscatter diffraction (EBSD) for quantitative textural analysis (QTA) and transmission electron microscopy (TEM). The grain size distribution in carbonado is either random or may be approximated by a log-normal distribution model with a mode at 6–8 μm. No bimodal distribution, as suggested previously for some carbonado samples, was observed. The crystallographic orientations of diamond grains in carbonado are quasi-random. The following minerals were identified among syngenetic mineral inclusions, enclosed in diamond grains of carbonado: garnet, apatite (including fluorapatite), phlogopite (or high-silica mica), SiO2, Ca-Mg-Sr- and Ca-Ba-carbonates, halides (sylvite and bismocolite BiOCl), native Ni and metal alloys (Fe-Ni, Cr-Fe-Mn, and Pb-As-Mo), oxides (FeO, Fe-Sn-O, TiO2, SnO2, and PbO2), and Fe-sulfides, as well as fluid inclusions. Most of these occur over a very wide range of stability conditions. Only bismocolite, which is characteristic of the weathered crust, can be considered an entirely crustal mineral phase, which implies a possible crustal origin of the entire mineral association. Among syngenetic liquid inclusions in diamond grains comprising carbonado, silicate-carbonate ones overwhelmingly predominate. In addition to the usual silicate components, such as Si, Ti, Al, and Fe, they have Ca, K, and Cl; the latter three comprise 11.9 at.% of the only analyzed fluid inclusion.

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