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Kelvin and Faraday kimberlite emplacement geometries and implications for subterranean magmatic processes

Wayne Barnett, Michael Stubley, Casey Hetman, Ron Uken, Chris Hrkac, Tom McCandless
Tuesday, July 10, 2018
First presented: 
Mineralogy and Petrology
Published paper

The Kennady North Project kimberlites (Northwest Territories of Canada) comprises multiple shallow dipping dykes and several volcaniclastic bodies that have an unusual shallow plunging geometry and complex "pipe" shapes that are termed chonoliths. The detailed exploration of the entire system provides exceptional evidence for subterranean volcanic conduit growth processes. The possible processes leading to the development of the kimberlite bodies are discussed, with emphasis on the importance of the subsurface intrusive system geometry and the local stress tensor. Emplacement into a locally compressive stress regime (i.e. σ1 and σ2 inclined at a low angle to surface) could change the kimberlite emplacement geometries to that observed at Kennady North. Models are proposed for the development of the chonoliths, to emphasize aspects of the growth of kimberlite systems that are not well understood. The conclusions challenge or evolve current emplacement models and should influence kimberlite exploration and resource definition assumptions.

The final publication is available at

Feature Author

Dr. Wayne Barnett

Wayne Barnett has 18 years of experience in the mining and exploration industry. He specializes in providing operational support by defining the structural geology of mining projects and properly characterizing their rock masses in order to manage risks and solve problems in active mining operations. He also characterizes the structural geology for scoping- to feasibility-level studies.

Wayne has a PhD in structural geology and industry certification in rock mechanics, and worked as a geotechnical engineer for two mining operations over a period of 8 years.

Principal Structural Geologist
PhD, PrSciNat
SRK Vancouver
Casey Hetman

Casey has 20 years of experience focused on the exploration and evaluation of primary diamond deposits. He has dedicated much of his career to the macroscopic and petrographic investigation of drillcores and mining exposures for the purpose of identifying and characterizing geological domains defined by different grades. This information is combined with other data sets—including geochemistry, grade information, geophysics, and modern volcanological principles—to generate 3D models in Gemcom.

Casey has been involved in geological investigations for the purposes of exploration, resource development, and mine planning for kimberlites in Canada, Greenland, Botswana, Lesotho, Angola, Zimbabwe, and Sierra Leone.

Principal Geologist
SRK Vancouver
SRK Africa