The Russian Science Foundation has allocated a grant of three million rubles to research the diamond potential of the Arkhangelsk Region. The grant was won by Arkhangelsk native Elena Shchukina, a young scientist working at the Novosibirsk Institute of Geology and Mineralogy.
Elena is sure there are very high prospects for the discovery of new diamond deposits in the area.
As of now, there are two large diamond deposits found in the Arkhangelsk Region: the Lomonosov diamond field consisting of six kimberlite pipes and the Grib diamond field. Two diamond pipes of the Lomonosov deposit (Arkhangelskaya and Karpinsky-1) and the Grib diamond pipe are commercially viable in terms of diamond grade and are currently being developed. ALROSA is carrying out forecasting and exploration operations engaging its subsidiaries, Severalmaz and Arkhangelskgeoldobycha.
"But the entire survey is conducted only within the Arkhangelsk diamondiferous province, that is, near the already known kimberlite bodies, without going beyond it," says Elena Shchukina. “Our data indicate that it is necessary to go beyond the borders of this province. There are areas that are also promising for the search of new diamond deposits. "
This conclusion was drawn on the basis of the obtained research samples taken in the north-eastern and south-western parts of the Arkhangelsk Region, where kimberlite pipes have not been found so far.
"The samples displayed a high content of diamond minerals: pyrope, olivine, picroilmenite with a primary magmatic surface," Elena explains. “This indicates the proximity of their indigenous source - kimberlite. In addition, the high concentration of “diamond associated” pyropes also points to a potential diamond-bearing source. "
The researcher’s findings come into agreement with the scientific community – it is the first time that the Russian Science Foundation allocated a grant for project works in the Arkhangelsk Region under the presidential program of research projects. It is planned to develop a method for quantitative evaluation of kimberlite admix material in enclosing sedimentary rocks. It is assumed that the results obtained will be used for prospecting and forecasting works on diamonds in the Arctic territories of the Arkhangelsk Region and will increase the efficiency of drilling operations.
It should be noted that the territory of the Arkhangelsk Region is currently one of the most poorly studied kimberlite provinces in the world.