Researcher says Nunavut and Siberia, once neighbours, share geology – by Lisa Gregoire (Nunatsiaq News – July 13, 2016)

Mineral riches in Siberia likely shared in Canadian Arctic

Imagine a huge volcanic event which punches molten magma and all kinds of gases and liquids through the Earth’s crust for such an extended period of time that lava eventually covers the entire country of Canada to a depth of seven kilometres.

That actually happened millions of years ago — and happened repeatedly, to varying degrees and sizes and in different locations, every 20 or 30 million years or so, says Carleton University geologist Richard Ernst.

Such events, which originate below the earth’s crust in what’s known as the mantle, are so powerful that they have actually broken continents apart and carved away islands leaving behind, millions of years later, underground geological phenomena called “large igneous provinces,” or LIPs.

There are a couple of reasons why you might be interested in those buried LIPs, the main one being that they usually contain huge swaths of copper, iron, zinc, nickel, platinum-group elements, gold and diamonds.

Ernst, who wrote a book about LIPs, has spent the last five years, and a couple million dollars, studying LIPs in southern Siberia, with most of his funding coming from mining companies. The earliest of those known LIPs goes back 2.5 billion years.

OK, so what does that have to do with the Arctic? A lot. By digging into, analyzing and then dating those Siberian formations, Ernst and others believe the area was once connected to areas in Canada, specifically the Arctic.

So what that means is: known ore deposits in Siberia likely continue in northern Canada. And Siberia happens to be a mining hub.

The Yakutia Mir Mine, the world’s biggest diamond mine, is located in eastern Siberia. The area is also littered with a shopping list of other minerals including zinc, iron, gold and uranium, along with petroleum.

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