Geologically-constrained geophysical inversions of a kimberlite pipe: A new approach to diamond exploration

Diamond-bearing kimberlites are enigmatic deposits due to their complex volcanic plumbing systems and variable preservation. Diamond concentrations will vary greatly with deposit-type, however, it is often difficult to effectively distinguish between types (without drilling) due to alteration or poor preservation. Furthermore, while geophysical methods are well established and effective techniques for kimberlite exploration, they require independent and costly constraints (e.g., drill hole data) to limit the number of geologically plausible targets. As such, there is a need to enhance interpretation of near surface geophysical data to optimize target determination.
We will take advantage of the wealth of data available from development of Stornoway’s Renard 2 kimberlite pipe to construct geologically-constrained 3D geophysical models. By progressively varying the geological/geophysical constraints, a recently graduated geophysicist (Ph.D.) will investigate the degree to which geological contrasts within the kimberlites can be confide ntly characterized. This will allow us to develop an enhanced exploration methodology that optimizes exploration target drilling of kimberlites.

Faculty Supervisor:

Glyn Williams-Jones


Jeffrey Zurek


Stornoway Diamond Corporation


Geography / Geology / Earth science


Mining and quarrying


Simon Fraser University



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