Core Analysis Innovations for Diamond Resource Evaluation

Core Analysis Innovations for Diamond Resource Evaluation

From subtropics to tundras, Geotek’s BoxScan really can be deployed anywhere in the world.

BoxScan being delivered to site via helicopter

For the first time, the high-tech BoxScan core scanning system has been deployed to the Arctic, scanning 1,450 metres of core samples during an eight-week resource evaluation program on the tundra of Baffin Island in the Canadian north.

BoxScan delivered onto its platform

The unit was set up by De Beers Group at its remote Chidliak Project location, approximately 120 km from Iqaluit, capital city of Nunavut territory to support a summer evaluation drilling program. There are no roads to the site so it had to be flown to the location by helicopter.

The visit started with the BoxScan mobilisation, where our expert Briony Shreeve, alongside the skilled De Beers technicians, positioned and installed the system at the Chidliak site, not far from where a drill rig was collecting samples from one of Chidliak’s kimberlite pipes. Following the successful installation, a comprehensive training program was conducted for De Beers’ geologists. Training included hands-on sessions, tutorials, and practical exercises covering system operation, data interpretation, and troubleshooting.

BoxScan and the Team

With BoxScan installation and training complete, the De Beers team is now equipped with the necessary skills and knowledge to operate the BoxScan system effectively and efficiently, for valuable data acquisition. Operators are primed for non-destructive scanning of core samples, which includes advanced imaging, mineralogical, and geochemical data at the drill site, enabling the team to complete near real-time interpretation of the kimberlite facies.

The structure the BoxScan sat within

Geotek’s site visit to the remote Baffin Island exploration camp marked a significant step for De Beers, incorporating the BoxScan system into its resource evaluation methods. The visit not only enhanced De Beers’ geological assessment capabilities, but also demonstrated their commitment to using cutting-edge technology for optimal resource evaluation. The BoxScan’s ability to provide detailed insights whilst maintaining core sample integrity strongly aligns with De Beers’ sustainable mining goals.

BoxScan onsite

Pamela Ellemers, Principal Mineral Resource Manager for De Beers Group in Canada, said: “The Chidliak Project is being advanced as a technological diamond mine, incorporating Diamond FutureSmartTM principles, including remote, autonomous operation, utilizing movable, mobile infrastructure. By using the BoxScan system on site, we’re unlocking the potential of using technology in remote areas.”

Traditionally the core would be boxed and then shipped to the De Beers petrology lab in Calgary for examination, delaying the start of analysis for weeks.

Now that the drilling campaign has come to a close, De Beers have relocated the BoxScan to its Calgary petrology laboratory. The system will be logging legacy core from the same kimberlite to increase the knowledge and provide quantitative data sets for interpretation.

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