LEXINGTON, Ky. (Feb. 9, 2012) — When the subject of diamond mines comes up, you're likely to think of some of the countries on the African continent or other foreign locations. But since the late 1990s, diamond production has been growing north of the U.S. border in Canada.
Actually, the geology of North America, from the Rockies to the Arctic, has excellent potential for the production of diamonds. But the conditions in the region left by the most recent ice age make exploration and recovery of the gems more difficult. In recent years, though, after investments in exploration and mining technology, Canadian diamond production has grown, making Canada the world's third largest producer of gem diamonds, behind Botswana and Russia.
Minnesota State Geologist Harvey Thorleifson, who has also worked for the Geological Survey of Canada, has first-hand experience in the surprising Canadian diamond discoveries. He will be on the University of Kentucky campus Feb. 22 to discuss the science, history, and technology of diamond mining and marketing worldwide, and relate some of his experiences. Thorleifson has been Minnesota's state geologist and a professor in the Geology and Geophysics Department at the University of Minnesota since 2003. He has researched North American glacial history and mineral exploration, as well as geologic and geochemical mapping.
Thorleifson's free talk will be open to the general public. It is scheduled for 6:30 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 22, at the W. T. Young Library auditorium. His visit to UK is sponsored by the Kentucky Geological Survey, a research institute of the university.
Free parking will be available at UK Parking Structure #2, accessible from Hilltop Avenue, which runs on the south side of the library.
For more information, call (859) 323-0561 or visit www.uky.edu/KGS/announce/Distinguished_lecture_2012.htm.