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Charleswood Diamonds

Grid Ref (WGS84 Lat/Long in decimal degrees)

-19.802687, 32.967283
Charleswood Estate, Chimanimani
Lower Argillaceous Series of the Umkondo System

Following discovery of alluvial gold at Tarka Forest in 2004 and subsequent acquisition of a Special Grant over the area by the Zimbabwe Mining Development Corporation, a lot of interest was roused on the gold potential of the Chimanimani area. This resulted in DTZ-Ozgeo, a company specialised in alluvial minerals, securing a Special Grant (SG 4955) in 2007 to explore for gold in an area encompassing Charleswood Farm adjacent to Tarka Forest, about 15 km east of Chimanimani.

The issuance of the Special Grant was coincidental with the discovery of diamonds at Charleswood Farm by artisanal miners. The illegal miners occupied an area about the size of a football pitch where a gritty quartzite body is exposed close to the Haroni River.

Having realised that there could be a potential for diamonds in the area, the DTZ-Ozgeo requested for inclusion of diamonds in their exploration portfolio. This was granted in 2010. Several diamond experts were invited from Russia, South Africa and Namibia to ascertain the potential of this deposit. A small testing plant was set up to process material from area.

The diamonds occur in a gritty quartzite and associated eluvium. The 1:100 000 scale map of the Chimanimani area shows that the quartzite belongs to the sediments of Lower Argillaceous Series of the Umkondo System (Watson, 1969). These rocks lie stratigraphically above the Calcareous Series that host the Chiadzwa and the Muusha diamond deposits. They belong to the Upper startigraphy of the Umkondo basin (Petuxov et al 2012). The discovery of diamonds at Charleswood Farm has therefore far reaching geological consequences.

Permission required from DTZ-Ozgeo
Further Reading: 
Button, A. 1978. A depositional model of the Umkondo Basin in southeastern Rhodesia. 19th Annual Report (1977), Economic Geology Research Unit, University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, South Africa, 13-14. Watson R.L.A. 1969. The Geology of the Cashel, Melsetter and Chipinga Areas. Rhodesia Geological Survey Bulletin No. 60. Petuxov S.N., Simonova O.Y. and Mupaya F.B. 2012. Geology and petrology of the Umkondo diamond deposits with emphasis on the Chimanimani Deposit. Geological Society of Zimbabwe Summer Symposium 2012 Abstracts, p14.
Author Credit: 
Forbes Mugumbate