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Economic Geology of Renard 3, Québec, Canada: A Diamondiferous, Multi-Phase Pipe Infilled with Hypabyssal and Tuffisitic Kimberlite

  • C. MuntenerEmail author
  • B. H. Scott Smith
Conference paper

Abstract

Renard 3 is one of a ~640 Ma. cluster of nine diamondiferous kimberlite pipes in the Otish Mountains region of Québec, Canada. The external and internal geology of Renard 3 were investigated to assess the resource volumes and diamond contents, information that was used to develop an Indicated Mineral Resource of 106 carats per hundred tonnes. The internal geology was determined by differentiating distinct kimberlite units using a combination of megascopic, macroscopic, and microscopic features. The units were assessed and modelled as five distinct, vertically extensive pipe-forming phases of kimberlite, each separated by steep and predominantly sharp internal contacts. Each phase is dominated by one of the following textural varieties of kimberlite: (i) volcaniclastic kimberlite that is classified as tuffisitic kimberlite breccia, (ii) coherent kimberlite that is classified as hypabyssal kimberlite, or (iii) transitional kimberlite that is intermediate between tuffisitic and hypabyssal. The combination of observed kimberlite textures, rock types, associated country rock features, emplacement age and regional geological setting indicates that Renard 3 is an eroded, deep diatreme to root zone kimberlite pipe comparable to others in the Renard cluster, Gahcho Kué, Northwest Territories, Canada and Kimberley, South Africa. The worldwide geological correlations significantly increase the degree of confidence in the Renard 3 geological model and, in turn, the Mineral Resource Estimate, highlighting the importance kimberlite geology has in the economic assessment of a kimberlite.

Keywords

Kimberlite Kimberlite geology Renard Diamond Emplacement Tuffisitic Evaluation Mineral resource Mining 

Notes

Acknowledgments

The authors are extremely grateful to Stornoway Diamond Corporation for their ongoing support, and in particular the permission to publish this paper. Many colleagues within Stornoway are acknowledged for their varied and vital contributions to the Renard project and the results included here. John Armstrong is thanked for his insightful discussions and input and Julie Paillard for her assistance with the preparation of figures and illustrations. Scott-Smith Petrology Inc. is also acknowledged and thanked for its resources and time, in particular Stuart Smith for his assistance in thin section and rock slab photography. The microprobe analysis work by Bob Barnett of R. L. Geological Consulting Inc. and age dating determinations by Geospec Consulting Ltd. are also gratefully acknowledged. The comments of an anonymous reviewer improved the manuscript.

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Copyright information

© Geological Society of India 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Stornoway Diamond CorporationNorth VancouverCanada
  2. 2.Scott-Smith Petrology IncNorth VancouverCanada

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