Steve Shirey and Attendees of the 3rd International Diamond School Visit the Lac de Gras Kimberlite Field

Steve Shirey
A panoramic view of the A154 South open pit, Diavik diamond mine where kimberlite was excavated to extract its diamond cargo. Photo by Steven Shirey, DTM.

Steven Shirey, a staff scientist at DTM, attended the 3rd International Diamond School held at the University of Alberta, Edmonton, June 6th to 10th, 2016.

Steve ShireyField trip attendees standing in the A154 South open pit. Attendees included professors, postdoctoral fellows and graduate students. Photo by Steven Shirey, DTM.

The School aims to provide a general overview of the most recent advances in diamond research, as well as an introduction to modern techniques for diamond exploration. Now in its third year, this most recent workshop focused on themes that included more current-research and "state-of-the-art" techniques. It is organized and run chiefly by Professor Graham Pearson, a former DTM postdoctoral fellow, and his colleagues at the University of Alberta, Edmonton.

Daivik MineAerial view of the Diavik mine in summer. The mine is located on an island surrounded by the waters of Lac de Gras.  Photo Credit: Diavik Diamond Mines (2012) Inc.

Besides Shirey and Pearson, other Carnegie or former Carnegie people in attendance were Karen Smit (now a postdoctoral research associate at the Gemological Institute of America) and Robert Luth (now a professor at the University of Alberta).

Steve ShireyA view of the A154 South open pit, Diavik diamond mine where kimberlite was excavated to extract its diamond cargo. Photo by Steven Shirey, DTM.

Although the school included two days of research presentations, a novel aspect of it also included two days of field trips in the Lac de Gras kimberlite field: one day was a visit to the Ekati and Diavik diamond mines, and the other was spent examining late Archean geology in the Yellowknife area. The accompanying photos show some of the field trip stops.

Steve ShireyField trip members standing on the dike that keeps Lac de Gras lake water out of the Diavik open pit mine. Photo by Steven Shirey, DTM.

The School was supported by the Deep Carbon Observatory, the University of Alberta, the Carnegie Institution for Science, Isomass, Canadian North Airlines, De Beers, Dominion Diamonds, and Rio Tinto.

Steve ShireySpectacular outcrop of late Archean pillow basalt on the property of the Giant gold mine, Yellowknife. Photo by Steven Shirey, DTM.

Carnegie will resume its presence in Canada’s Northwest Territories next month, July 2016, when DTM Director Richard Carlson and postdoctoral fellow Jesse Reimink commence fieldwork on a project to analyze the Central Slave Basement Complex several hundred kilometers west of the Lac de Gras area. They will be joined in late July by Shirey and Pearson, as well as Carnegie Science President Matt Scott and Trustee Michael Long.

Steve ShireyNorth shore of Great Slave Lake with the city of Yellowknife in the distance. Photo by Steven Shirey, DTM.

Written by Steven Shirey, 24 June 2016

- - - - -