History of International Kimberlite Conferences

International kimberlite conferences (IKCs) are special events that are held across the world once in four to five years. IKC is the confluence platform for academicians, scientists and industrial personnel concerned with diamond exploration and exploitation,  petrology, geochemistry, geochronology, geophysics and origin of the primary diamond host rocks and their entrained xenoliths and xenocrysts (including diamond) to get together and deliberate on new advances in research made in the intervening years. Ever since the organization of first IKC in 1973 and its tremendous success the entire geological world eagerly look forward to subsequent such conferences with great enthusiasm and excitement since the scientific emanations from IKCs continue to make significant impact on our understanding of the composition, nature and evolution of the planet we live on.

The credit for visualizing and executing the first ever IKC at Cape Town in 1973 should go to Late Joe Boyd and Late Henry Meyer of U.S.A, who, in collaboration with John Gurney and Barry Hawthorne of South Africa laid the foundation for future Conferences. The proceedings of the conference were published as the special issue of the Physics and Chemistry of the Earth (1975).

The second IKC held at Santa Fe, New Mexico U.S.A. in 1977 was an outstanding success as exemplified by the publication of two volumes of the proceedings edited by F.R. Boyd and H.O.A. Meyer and published by the American Geophysical Union in 1979. 

The third IKC was held at Clermont-Ferrand, France, in 1982 and the two proceeding volumes edited by J. Kornprobst (Kimberlites I: Kimberlites and related rocks; Kimberlites II: The mantle and crust mantle relationships) and published by Elsevier, contained nearly 70 manuscripts from across the world. Reported discovery of diamondiferous lamproites from Western Australia was the highlight of this conference.

The fourth IKC held Down Under at Perth, Western Australia, once again contain a wealth of data on the composition, occurrence, origin and emplacement of kimberlites and their exploration. Several papers devoted to lamproites are a highlight, together with the opening speech by Rex Prider whose much earlier work on the Kimberley leucite lamproites suggested a mantle origin and affinities to kimberlites. The two proceeding volumes of the conference published by the Geological Society of Australia in 1989 and edited by J. Ross and 6 others contained 89 papers.

The fifth international kimberlite conference was held at Araxa, Brazil, in 1991. The two proceeding volumes edited by H.O.A. Meyer and O.H. Leonardos entitled (i) Kimberlites, related rocks and mantle xenoliths and (ii) Diamonds: characterization, genesis and exploration and published in 1994 by Companhia de Pesquisa de Recursos Minerais, Rio De Janeiro, contain several topical aspects such as validity of the Clifford’s Rule and kimberlites as variants of lamprophyres.

The sixth international kimberlite conference was held at Novosibirsk, the largest city in Siberian Russia, in 1995. A great deal of information on the Russian kimberlites and diamonds became available for the first time to the outside world through the extended abstracts published by the United Institute of Geology, Geophysics and Mineralogy, Siberian Branch of Russian Academy.
The seventh IKC returned to the birth-place of its first episode, Cape Town, in 1998. The two proceeding volumes edited by J.J. Gurney and others have been aptly dedicated to J.B. Dawson and P.H. Nixon for their ever lasting contributions to the kimberlites and mantle xenoliths respectively.

The next IKC was fittingly held at Victoria, Canada, in 2003 as several major diamondiferous kimberlite discoveries were made in Canada and diamond industry was revived. Conference proceedings were published for the first time (R. Clement volume and B. Hawthorne volume) in an internationally reputed scientific jounal Lithos.

The ninth IKC was held at Frankfurt, Germany, in 2008 and the two proceeding volumes brought out by Lithos once again contain a rich source of information on exploration and origin of kimberlites, diamonds and cratonic lithosphere. The four laureates honoured during the event include Steve Haggerty, Nikolai Sobolev, John Gurney and Jeff Harris.

The tenth IKC would be held in the land that gave diamond to the world- India-  in February, 2012. We, the organizing committee members are striving our best to make the event a memorable one in the rich IKC history and are eagerly waiting to welcome you all at Bangaluru (Bangalore)!