Kimberlites in Alberta-A Major New Diamond-bearing Kimberlite Province

CIM MineSpace 2001
Dave Skelton,
Abstract The Alberta diamond joint venture discovered its first diamondiferous kimberlite in 1997. To date, 35 kimberlites have been discovered, 23 of which contain diamonds. Aeromagnetic surveying was utlized to identify the first 34 kimberlites. The most recent kimberlite discovery, K252, was identified through electromagnetic techniques. Size estimates for the bodies vary from one to 47 hectares. Four of the kimberlites crop out while overburden up to 127 metres was intersected at the remaining sites. Samples weighing from one to 469 tonnes have been collected from the six most promising kimberlites. The estimated grades range from 3.5 to 66.2 carats per hundred tonnes and commercial-size and high quality diamonds are present. Additional testing is planned for the K252 kimberlite which yielded an estimated grade of 66.2 carats per hundred tonnes from a 1.28 tonne sample. The threshold for economic kimberlites is lower in Alberta than it is in the Northwest Territories and other remote regions of Canada due to the extensive infrastructure developed by the petroleum industry. The joint venture is encouraged by the region’s potential to host an economic diamond deposit and will continue to explore the 2,922,000 hectares (7,219,000 acres) of mineral permits it holds in northern Alberta.
Keywords: Exploration, Mining, Geology, Diamonds
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