With global diamond production expected to peak in 2017, major discoveries are more crucial than ever. De Beers’ targeted exploration in southern Africa is an attempt to discover the first major new diamond mine in the region in more than 20 years. Many of our focus areas in this region have been heavily explored for diamonds in the past, but with prospectors traditionally only able to scan to a maximum of 300 feet below surface, the search was often abandoned. Times have changed, and so have the tools and techniques at our disposal. With De Beers' unique new technology, we're now searching for evidence of diamonds 1,000 feet below the earth's surface.
In Southern Africa, De Beers is employing SQUID (Superconducting Quantum Interference Devices), a powerful new high-tech detection method that measures the minuscule magnetic field shifts that indicate the presence of a kimberlite pipe well below the surface of the earth. Here, and elsewhere in the world, we're also using new artificial intelligence software and complex algorithms to comb through the masses of data and mineral sampling results for signals that reveal the presence of diamonds. Throughout our history, De Beers' commitment to technology has helped us lead the way. In southern Africa and beyond, we'll continue to pioneer cutting-edge technology in our pursuit of brilliance.