Trends in Canadian diamond exploration

CIM Montreal 2003
Abstract Canada’s Archean terrane has excellent potential for diamonds. Together with the somewhat less prospective adjacent younger Precambrian terrane, these rocks extend across the Canadian Shield and under the Phanerozoic cover of the Plains and Hudson Bay. Early world exploration relying on recognition of diamond in alluvial sediments led to production from India, Brazil, and Africa. Over the past century, advanced science and technology, and large financial investments, have led first to Russia, and now Canada, joining Africa as lead producers of high quality gems. Progress in Canada accelerated after 1960, first in Ontario and the Arctic Islands, then Saskatchewan in 1988, and most importantly the Chuck Fipke/Stew Blusson discovery at Lac de Gras announced in 1991. Canadian exploration relies on analysis of tectonics, indicator minerals, geophysical surveys, and multiple stages of drilling and sampling, similar to other regions. Very different from other regions, however, is Canada’s surficial environment, in which recent glaciation has caused fresh labile indicator minerals to be transported hundreds of km from source, having been transported by glacial processes that cross watershed boundaries.
Keywords: Diamond, Exploration, Canada
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