Analysis of Tyrrell Sea Deposits from the Vicinity of the Victor Diamond Mine: Comparison of Three North American Clay Deposits

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Jean Holloway


he De Beers Victor Mine is an open pit diamond mine, and is located in the James Bay lowlands. The lowlands are characterized by extensive peatlands overlying Tyrell Sea sediments. One of the potential impacts of open pit mining, and the focus of the current work, is the potential for differential subsistence in the Tyrell Sea sediments owing to continuous groundwater withdrawal from the underlying limestone aquifers. To fully understand the potential effects of subsistence, a better understanding of the nature and properties of the Tyrell Sea sediments is needed. This will be achieved by analyzing various properties of samples collected from the Victor Diamond Mine, and comparing those properties with values from Lake Agassiz sediments and Bearpaw Shale. Properties such as hydraulic conductivity, grain size, plastic and liquid limit, and mineralogy will be compared. It is expected that the samples from the Victor Mine are a rock flour dominated by clay fraction, composed mostly of finely ground carbonates. The sediments are expected to have high plasticity, low hydraulic conductivity, and moisture content too low for that of true clay.

Article Details

Session II: Ecology
Author Biography

Jean Holloway, Department of Geological Sciences and Geological Engineering

Moderator: Ms. Anne Johnson, Robert M. Buchan Department of Mining