November 2007

Tapping into Saskatchewan’s gold and diamond resources

By H. E. Robinson

Development and expansion projects on the go

Saskatchewan has attracted a lot of attention in minerals exploration and mine development in recent years. Overall, minerals exploration has increased more than tenfold in the last five years The rich geology of the province has some of the world’s largest diamond-bearing kimberlites that companies such as Shore Gold Incorporated have been exploring for potentially economic diamonds, while gold mines owned by Claude Resources Inc. have produced over 750,000 ounces of gold. Development of the diamond industry in Saskatchewan and expansion projects in gold mines are two leading examples of Saskatchewan’s current growth in the minerals industry.

The province is divided into two different geological regions. In northern Saskatchewan, the Precambrian Shield is exposed and together with the Athabasca Basin, this zone is characterized by ancient sedimentary rocks, crystalline basement rocks, and sandstone. This region of the province holds deposits of economically important minerals such as gold and uranium, while also providing the right geological environment for the formation of diamond-bearing kimberlites. In southern Saskatchewan, the Phanerozoic Basin is comprised of younger sedimentary rocks that cover the crystalline basement rocks. Formed by deposits from shallow seas and lakes, this area hosts reserves of clay, potash, oil, natural gas, and coal.

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