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TitleIndicator mineral and geochemical methods for diamond exploration in glaciated terrain in Canada
AuthorMcClenaghan, M BORCID logo; Kjarsgaard, B AORCID logo
SourceDrift exploration in glaciated terrain; by McClenaghan, M BORCID logo (ed.); Bobrowsky, P TORCID logo (ed.); Hall, G E M (ed.); Cook, S J (ed.); Geological Society, Special Publication 185, 2001 p. 83-123,
Alt SeriesGeological Survey of Canada, Contribution Series 1999220
PublisherGeological Society of London
Mediapaper; on-line; digital
File formatpdf
ProvinceCanada; Alberta; British Columbia; Manitoba; New Brunswick; Newfoundland and Labrador; Northwest Territories; Nova Scotia; Nunavut; Ontario; Prince Edward Island; Quebec; Saskatchewan; Yukon
NTS1; 2; 3; 10; 11; 12; 13; 14; 15; 16; 20; 21; 22; 23; 24; 25; 26; 27; 28; 29; 30; 31; 32; 33; 34; 35; 36; 37; 38; 39; 40; 41; 42; 43; 44; 45; 46; 47; 48; 49; 52; 53; 54; 55; 56; 57; 58; 59; 62; 63; 64; 65; 66; 67; 68; 69; 72; 73; 74; 75; 76; 77; 78; 79; 82; 83; 84; 85; 86; 87; 88; 89; 92; 93; 94; 95; 96; 97; 98; 99; 102; 103; 104; 105; 106; 107; 114O; 114P; 115; 116; 117; 120; 340; 560
Lat/Long WENS-141.0000 -50.0000 90.0000 41.7500
Subjectseconomic geology; geochemistry; surficial geology/geomorphology; till geochemistry; drift prospecting; exploration methods; diamond; lake sediment geochemistry; vegetation; kimberlites; dispersal patterns; glacial deposits; ice flow; ice movement directions; glacial history; depositional history; tills; heavy mineral analyses; source rocks; biogeochemical surveys; weathering; boulders; glaciofluvial deposits; glaciolacustrine deposits; stream sediment samples; sampling methods; soil geochemistry; dispersal trains; Quaternary; Cenozoic
Illustrationstables; sketch maps; models; schematic cross-sections; aerial photographs; cross-sections; photographs; plots; flow charts; images; graphs
Released2001 01 01
AbstractThis paper provides a summary of selected diamond exploration techniques used in the glaciated terrain of Canada, focusing on indicator mineral methods and till geochemistry but also including geochemistry of lake sediments and vegetation. Diamond exploration in Canada focuses on kimberlite, the primary host rock for diamonds in this country. Kimberlite is a mineralogically and chemically distinct point source which may yield discrete dispersal trains in glacial sediments. Understanding the ice flow history and depositional history of glacial sediments and identifying multiple till sheets in areas covered by thick glacial sediments are essential for successful sampling, interpretation and follow-up of indicator mineral and geochemical anomalies related to these rocks. Orientation studies over known kimberlites provide important information on the mineralogical and geochemical signatures of kimberlite, and the size fractions of glacial sediments that are best suited to indicator mineral and geochemical analysis. Kimberlite indicator minerals survive glacial transport over long distances and the relative abundance of each mineral in till is a function of the primary mineralogy of individual kimberlites. Indicator mineral distributions observed at a regional scale define the net effect of glacial dispersal, often along different ice flow directions. Local scale distributions define individual dispersal trains. The finer (0.25 to 0.5 mm)fraction of heavy mineral concentrates prepared from till samples is best suited for indicator mineral surveys. Till geochemistry is gaining popularity in diamond exploration because it is significantly cheaper than indicator mineral analysis and it can be performed quickly. Important kimberlite pathfinder elements that provide good contrast in till geochemical surveys include Ni, Cr, Ba, Co, Sr, Rb, Nb, Mg, Ta, Ca, Fe, K, Ti and REE, the relative importance of which will depend on kimberlite composition as well as that of the surrounding bedrock. Biogeochemical studies over kimberlites in Canada reveal geochemical signatures in vegetation despite the glacially transported substrate.

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