Why Diamonds?

Diamonds 101

Canada’s great Ekati and Diavik diamond mines are nearing the end of their production lives, and our remaining mines cannot make up for this declining production. Churchill’s Pelly Bay and White River projects can help fill the void as both have already established that these are significant diamond districts with the potential for a number of deposits.

When exploring for diamonds, you're actually looking for an volcanic rock called Kimberlite. It is a major source of diamonds, and if often known as the “elevator” carrying the precious stones and the Kimberlitic Indicator Minerals (“KIMs”) from the diamond stability field (“dsf”)

These occur together under high temperature and pressure in peridotitic rocks within the earth’s upper mantle at depths of approximately 100km to 230km.

K1: barren kimberlite (did not sample dsf)  
K2: buried kimberlite that carries eclogitic diamonds
K3:  kimberlite highly diamondiferous (sampled eclogitic and peridotitic diamond sources)
L1:  diamondiferous lamproite

                  Kimberlite Indicator Mineral Sampling in Canada

Kimberlite intrusives are often covered by glacial till deposits. Buried kimberlites are detected by geophysical, geochemical (in-situ methods), and by tracing back fragments of kimberlite and/or kimberlitic indicator minerals to the source intrusive (till and stream sediment sampling)

Kimberlitic indicator mineral suite include:
a) pyrope garnet
b) chrome diopside
c) chromite (chrome spinel)
d) ilmenite
e) high magnesium olivine
f) eclogitic garnets

Kimberlite Indicator Mineral Prospectivity Ratings

Kimberlite intrusives can be assessed in a general sense by the chemistry of the kimberlitic indicator minerals (“KIMs”)and ranked into higher or lower interest categories before/during early drilling or surface sampling.

Churchill’s White River Project covers high interest kimberlitic dykes with excellent pyrope garnet and chromite chemistry.  Rabbit Foot pyrope and chromites show excellent correlation with diamonds, strongly suggesting high grades could be present at White River within this large kimberlite dyke/pipe cluster.

Churchill’s Pelly Bay Project contains 26 known kimberlites, 20 of which are diamondiferous, and several of these show excellent KIM chemistry and high diamond counts.  These are the focus, along with several high potential kimberlite pipe target areas.