Diamonds discovered in Manitoba for first time: geologist
Ruth Bezys, president of the Manitoba Prospectors and Developers Association, said the announcement was made Sunday afternoon in Toronto at a prospectors and developers conference. Manitoba’s Minister of Growth, Enterprise and Trade Cliff Cullen and Natural Resources Minister Jim Carr were in attendance, as well.
“It’s really significant, because diamonds are really rare and hard to find,” Bezys said in a phone call with CTV News.
Bezys, who is based in Winnipeg, said the diamonds were found in bedrock in the northeastern part of the province near Knee Lake and Oxford House.
“They were found in a rock that could be kimberlite and it’s usually the rock type that diamonds are found in, but not always,” Bezys said. “We are not sure in this case.”
She said she can’t say exactly how much was found, but possibly a “handful” of diamonds, and “maybe more.”
“The diamonds that they found are probably not worth a lot, but there could be enough that you could make a mine out of it,” she said.
According to Bezys, there will now be further exploration, which includes drillings and seeing if there is enough to warrant opening a mine.
Bezys said the discovery is also important for the Manitoba Geological Survey, a provincial organization that was instrumental in helping make the find because of maps they created.
The provincial government also confirmed the historic discovery Monday.
“Through the work of Manitoba Geological Survey geologists and their industry partners, Lynx Consortium diamonds have been discovered in northeast Manitoba for the first time in the province’s history. This preliminary prospecting does not assure mining development, but rather confirms the potential for a certain mineral exists in the geological area,” Minister Cliff Cullen said in a news release.
“Our government has taken the necessary steps to implement a long-term vision for sustainable growth and attraction of investment, and we are working toward the completion of a renewed Duty to Consult framework which will foster a positive relationship between the Crown and indigenous peoples.”
The government said mining currently contributes about $1.5 billion, which is about 2.7 per cent, to the provincial GDP and contributes approximately 3,200 jobs in the province.