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Home: Canadian Construction News: University of Alberta Opens Arctic Resources Geochemistry Laboratory

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University of Alberta Opens Arctic Resources Geochemistry Laboratory

Written by; Chad Simco / TCCN Staff Writer
Added on: Thu Nov 28 2013

  


On Wednesday, November 27th, the University of Alberta opened a rare minerals research center, which can be very beneficial to the diamond industry.

The Arctic Resources Geochemistry Laboratory is the largest laboratory of its kind. It will assist companies and scientists to identify valuable mineral deposits buried hundreds of miles beneath the earths surface.

The university's Canada Research Chair in Arctic Resources, Graham Pearson states that the exploration of diamonds is extremely time consuming and labour intensive. It's the equivalent of looking for a needle in a haystack. If you can remove most of the hay, it will lead to a more refined amount good deposits to be focused on.

The facility is ready and equipped with $6 million (CAD) worth of instruments that assist in determining the date of diamonds and also analyze other minerals that may be prevalent that can lead to the discovery of other high grade deposits. Additionally, the resource centre's complex and detailed instruments can be used to analyze a variety of precious metals such as gold, silver, lead, zinc as well as other materials like volcanic rock.

The facility amasses 3,500-square feet of space, contains six mass laser systems and spectrometers which help determine a diamonds grade and the richness of a mineral deposit. To display the equipments precision. on Wednesday, laboratory researchers used a laser to split a 3mm diamond that was extracted from a Rio Tinto mine located in the Northwest Territories.

The laboratory received $10 million (CAD) from the Canada Excellence Research Chairs (CERC) program, with additional funding coming in from the university, the Alberta Enterprise and Advanced Education (AEAE) and the Canada Foundation for Innovation (CFI).

Mr. Pearson added that, Canada is the 3rd largest producer of diamonds in the world and the Arctic Resources Geochemistry Laboratory can help to sustain that.

  

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