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MEI Online: General Minerals Engineering: Latest News: September 18th 2003

:: De Beers Funds First-Ever Diamond Research Laboratory in Canada  

The first diamond research laboratory of its kind in Canada was officially opened at the University of Alberta in Edmonton on Monday by Richard Molyneux, the President and CEO of De Beers Canada. De Beers has partnered with the university by providing $100 000 to equip this laboratory with state-of-the-art diamond research equipment which has previously been unavailable in Canada.

In a speech at the opening of the De Beers Laboratory for Diamond Research, Richard Molyneux said "Canada is well on track to becoming the third largest producer of diamonds by value in the world and this industry will make a significant contribution to the national wealth of Canada. The development of a leading edge diamond research capability in Canada is therefore both logical and significant. This laboratory will make a valuable contribution to our scientific understanding and support the Canadian diamond industry."

This field of research has provided unique opportunities in earth science development for the collaboration of academia and industry, or pure and applied science, and serves to demonstrate the multi-faceted benefits which can accrue when industry and academia work together.

"De Beers has had a long history of supporting fundamental research in the field of earth science. We see this investment in a Canadian centre of excellence in diamond research as a demonstration of our commitment to Canada," said Molyneux.

"A key strength of the University of Alberta is leadership in technology and knowledge transfer. We are partnering in innovative ways with industry, as well as the provincial and federal governments and others to maximize the benefits of research through effective technology transfer. Through its support of Dr. Stachel's diamond research, De Beers Canada has shown in a very concrete way that it is a visionary firm that understands the value of research and knowledge transfer," said Susan Green, Vice-President (External Relations), University of Alberta.

Dr Thomas Stachel will head up the laboratory in the Faculty of Science at the University of Alberta where he holds a Canada Research Chair in Diamond Research. He is one of only a handful of scientists worldwide leading research in this critical field.

Commenting on the significance of the work this laboratory will do, Dr. Stachel said, "This research will expand scientific understanding of diamond formation and will provide valuable qualitative and quantitative data, which the diamond industry can employ to locate diamond deposits and predict their quality."



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