Short Course 03

Introduction to Kimberlites: Geology, Terminology, Emplacement, and Economics

Presenter: Barbara Scott Smith (Scott-Smith Petrology Inc.)

Duration: Four days

Location: Scott-Smith Petrology Inc., North Vancouver, British Columbia

Description: The four day course provides a unique opportunity to learn about kimberlite geology, the foundation of diamond mining and exploration, based on the extensive diamond industry experience of the presenter and a worldwide rock collection.

Petrographic practicals are introduced by lectures covering key concepts and the learnings are reviewed and applied to the interpretation of kimberlite geology, emplacement and economics. The hands-on examination of ~80 samples from 16 countries including 24 diamond mines focusses on developing observational skills and their relevance to understanding kimberlites. To place the kimberlite samples into context, the practicals include some mantle-derived material, related rocks such as lamproites and volcaniclastic basalts.

The first three days focus on the main primary textural types of kimberlite: coherent (HK) and pyroclastic kimberlite (FPK, KPK) and associated resedimentation. The textures reflect diverse emplacement processes that result in contrasting external and internal body geology. The final day provides an overview incorporating the economic implications of kimberlite emplacement.

Participants are provided with hard copy lecture notes and one printed copy of the recently published “A Glossary of Kimberlite and Related Rock Terms” ( The course will assist in understanding and applying this rationalised approach to kimberlite terminology and the practical, systematic framework or nomenclature scheme which is a guide of how to investigate kimberlites. The Glossary provides a standard to enable more consistent description, classification, interpretation and understanding of the complex and unusual rocks encountered during diamond exploration, evaluation and mining and the improved communication of that information.