Diamonds in the Rockies


Molybdenum. Uranium. Silver, gold, copper, coal.  You name it and Colorado has probably mined it. Now a company called DiamonEx wants to exploit those mineral-rich mountains for diamonds. The Australia-based company is seeking a permit for exploratory drilling in Larimer County, along the Front Range. DiamonEx says they hope to mine as many diamonds as they currently do in Botswana – a southern African country not so far from Lesotho, where perhaps the world’s largest diamond was discovered this month.

It’s not the first time diamond diggers have scoped out the Centennial State. Until it went bankrupt in 2000, the Kelsey Lake mine near the Colorado-Wyoming border was the only operating diamond mine in the country. But DiamonEx’s potential new neighbors aren’t too thrilled with the prospect of a repeat: among the opponents is a new nonprofit group called Leave Our Valley Alone Forever. Just in the exploration phase, DiamonEx plans to excavate some 20,000 tons of material from a 23-acre area to see if Larimer County is indeed a diamond in the rough.

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