Posted September 21, 2018 08:24:00 You may have seen the news about a Chinese mining company developing an “old fashioned” diamond drill for the first time.
The article said the company, called Liwan Group, is developing a diamond drill to mine silver, gold and platinum at a new location in the north-western province of Xinjiang.
The news has prompted many people to start speculating that the new drill could be the first in the world to be able to mine precious metals in the form of diamonds, and not just from the rock itself.
But the story didn’t make it into any mainstream news coverage, despite the fact it was first posted in a popular news aggregator.
Instead, it went viral, garnering tens of thousands of hits on Facebook and receiving over 200,000 likes on Twitter.
It’s not the first new mining technology that has been reported on in recent years.
A Chinese firm named Tianyuan announced in January 2018 that it was using a diamond-encrusted drill to extract gold and copper from ore deposits in the Xinjiang region.
It took less than a year for the technology to be adopted by the Chinese government and other companies.
The latest news about Liwan was just a few months after a US company, Antares Mining, was awarded a contract to mine gold in Kazakhstan.
Antares has since been given a license to mine platinum and other minerals in Kazakhstan and Azerbaijan.
It is unclear whether the new technology has a long-term commercial purpose.
In any case, mining diamonds and other precious metals could prove to be one of the world’s biggest energy demands, with China already having a huge population of people with diamond-related talents.
In a recent research paper, the University of Michigan professor and author of the article, David Kao, said the new drilling technology could allow China to get to market much earlier than it has previously done.
“By 2022, the estimated annual demand for lithium could be nearly 10 percent of the global total,” he wrote.
The number of lithium mines in China is estimated at 590 million tonnes, and is estimated to be worth $10.8 billion.