Diamond Exploration in Saskatchewan

CIM Bulletin, Vol. 85, No. 956, 1992

Malcolm R. Gent, Saskatchewan Energy and Mines, Regina, Saskatchewan.

The presence in Saskatchewan of sixteen kimberlite pipes of probable late Albion age has been reported. An abundance of aero-magnetic anomalies possibly attributable to kimberlite pipes have been identified and it is anticipated that industry has acquired reasonable proof of the presence of more than seventy kimberlite pipes in Saskatchewan. Historical reports of diamonds, the discovery of kimberlite pipes and these aeromagnetic anomalies indicate the Phanerozoic Basin and some parts of the exposed Shield in Saskatchewan have an excellent potential for the occurrence of economically exploitable diamond deposits. The presence of some igneous minerals found in some salt solution breccias also indicates the probable occurrence of extensive diatreme activity during the Devonian. A Laramide Orogeny-induced crustal hinging or arching of the eastern margin of the Phanerozoic Basin and probably dex-tral wrenching-induced arching and faulting within the basin are proposed as major factors in the emplacement of Cretaceous or younger kimberlites. Zones of crustal weakness between sub-cratonic Archean blocks and internal faults are also thought to be significant controlling factors in the location of kimberlites in Saskatchewan. Mapped aeromagnetic anomalies interpreted as being possibly due to kimberlite pipes generally tend to be concentrated in ' areas underlain by a basement of or with components of Archean age. Within Saskatchewan, these anomalies occur within the probable Trans-Hudson Orogen zone; the Rae-Hearn Craton margin; and the northeast flank of the Elkpoint Basin. Recognized areas of potential for kimberlite emplacement are the Phanerozoic basin margin, the western limit of the Superior Province adjoining the Churchill Province, and a swath approximately 150 m wide along the northeast-southwest trending Shaunavon linear and other areas of inner basin arching.
Mots Clés: Diamond mining, Saskatchewan, Exploration, Kimberlites, Mineral economics, Corundum, Lamproites.