Canadian Diamond Exploration
In 1991 Charles ‘Chuck’ Fipke (b. 1946 in Edmonton, AB) and Stuart Blusson (b. 1939 in Vancouver, BC) co-discovered Canada’s first cluster of diamondiferous kimberlites in Canada’s Northwest Territories, thereby making Canadian diamond exploration history and also launching the largest staking rush seen in North America since George Carmack and Skookum Jim Mason discovered gold in the Klondike in 1896.
Blusson and Fipke’s discoveries would culminate seven years later as Canada’s first diamond mine and cement Canada as a bona fide diamond-producing country. From its initial production in 1998 until 2014 the Ekati Diamond Mine was a joint-venture between BHP Diamonds Inc. and Dia Met Minerals ( for combined ownership of 80%), and Blusson and Fipke, who each respectively controlled 10%, making both men very wealthy indeed.
Today Ekati is owned by the Arctic Canadian Diamond Company Ltd. after the bankruptcy of its former owner, Dominion Diamond Mines.
It was no easy task to bring Canada’s first diamond mine into production. Geologists and prospectors had searched for viable diamond deposits in Canada’s north for more than a century before 1991, with little to show for their efforts. Even industry giant De Beers was on the ground, trying to locate a source for observed diamond indicator minerals. But Fipke and Blusson surmised that the indicators De Beers found had in fact been dragged far from kimberlite pipes eons ago via glaciation.
What they needed to do was look “upstream” for their point of origin. Blusson took control of this initiative, who had previously worked for the Geological Survey of Canada, leading mapping and research programs in Canada’s arctic for 16 years. Using this valuable experience, Blusson painstakingly identified possible exploration targets, centred on glacial deposits known as eskers.
Meanwhile, Fipke flew back and forth over the Arctic Circle, using a magnetometer to track variations in the magnetic field that would suggest kimberlites. After thousands of miles and hundreds of hours in the air using fixed wing aircraft and helicopters, the two men found a promising site near Lac de Gras in 1985, a barren world of lakes and rock and muskeg some 300 km northeast of Yellowknife.
The rest, as they say, is history …
Following this discovery, Canada’s second diamond mine, Diavik, was discovered, and in 2018 they announced the finding of a 552.74-carat yellow Diamond pictured below.
What makes Canadian diamonds so special?
Canadian diamond mines are also great for people concerned about the environmental issues related to mines, as Canadian mines operate with some of the highest environmental standard. In addition, Canadian diamonds are free from forced labour, theft or exploitation issues.
Canada continues to be one of the top 3 diamond-producing countries in the world.
Looking for more info on Canadian Diamond exploration and how you can invest? We’re having an investor presentation on May 19th, join here!
Plus, check out our latest videos discussing this diamond resurgence here.