Diamonds on the Brodeur Peninsula — A new kimberlite province in Nunavut, Canada

CIM Bulletin, Vol. 95, No. 1061, 2002

B.C. Jago, D. Davis and H. Derbuch

The Freightrain kimberlite is located on the Brodeur Peninsula, Baffin Island, Nunavut. Twin Mining is exploring the pipe and adjacent land (79 claims/655 km2) using a combination of airborne geophysics, soil sampling, diamond drilling, trenching and bulk sample processing. The pipe originally was discovered by Cominco Limited in 1975, re-evaluated in 1993 by Lumina Investment Corporation, when it was staked as the Zulu pipe, and subsequently covered by three claims in 1998 by Helix Resources who called it Freightrain. The Freightrain pipe coincides with a strong, ovoid-shaped aeromagnetic anomaly. It is the only surface exposure of kimberlite within a 30 km long linear trend of fourteen aeromagnetic anomalies that are up to 600 m in diameter. The pipe is exposed in the crater facies, near the transition into diatreme facies as indicated by the occurrence of pyroclastic kimberlite characterized by abundant olivine macrocrysts, juvenile lapilli and kimberlite autoliths set in a serpentine-calcite matrix. Olivine, Cr-pyrope garnet and chromite are the most abundant macrocrysts; clinopyroxene, ilmenite and phlogopite mica occur in minor to trace amounts. Garnet and chromite harzburgite, garnet lherzolite, garnet-spinel lherzolite and rare eclogite dominate the xenolith population. Garnet and chromite mineral chemistry indicate encouraging diamond prospectivity and that potentially diamondiferous garnet and chromite harzburgite were the principal sources of diamond in the mantle at the time of kimberlite eruption. Single clinopyroxene grains define an ~42 mW/m2 sub-continental geotherm that is rooted in the diamond stability field. This compares to a slightly hotter geotherm (~48 mW/m2) for adjacent Somerset Island kimberlites with an origin in the graphite stability field. This data accords with the general lack of sub-calcic Cr-pyrope garnet, diamond inclusion chromite and diamond in Somerset Island kimberlites.
Keywords: Industrial minerals, Kimberlite, Brodeur Peninsula, Geology, Geological surveying