Searching for Diamonds | VideoJennifer Joas | 2/21/2013
But finding them is much harder than you may think.
Western North Dakota has oil and gas, central North Dakota has coal and now eastern North Dakota might have diamonds.
"Diamond production would be wonderful for the state," said North Dakota Agriculture Commissioner Doug Goehring.
But it`s not quite as easy as drilling for oil. While the Bakken covers thousands of square miles, the footprint of a potential diamond source can be as small as 300 acres. Companies need to drill 100 miles beneath the surface. And finding those pockets of diamonds can be like finding a needle in a haystack.
"When you poke a hole in the earth like they did when they drilled this well, the chances of coming right upon the spot where there are diamonds can be relatively small," said North Dakota Attorney General Wayne Stenehjem.
Rio Tinto did some drilling north of Grand Forks, but did not find diamonds on their first attempt. Even though the company was unsuccessful, State Geologist Ed Murphy says based on the geology, he still believes one day diamonds could be found here in eastern North Dakota.
"Even though we`re disappointed at this point that they didn`t find anything in this particular spot, we still know that the geology in North Dakota is such that there is a good potential that there are diamonds somewhere underneath there," Stenehjem said.
"When you have a company of Rio Tinto`s stature and experience in finding diamonds and developing them, when they`re willing to look in a North Dakota, I think that shows that there is pretty good potential," Murphy said.
Murphy believes in the potential of finding more diamonds. But says it could take years to successfully discover them. He also says the diamonds beneath North Dakota`s surface could be good quality diamonds for jewelry use.