The Daily Press is the city of Timmins broadsheet newspaper.
TIMMINS – Timmins residents got the chance to see what discovery here has scientists worldwide all abuzz. It is billion-year-old water found 2.4 kilometres underground within the Kidd Mine that has caused such a stir.
A sample of it was exhibited in a jar at Timmins Square Saturday as part of Glencore-Xstrata Kidd Operations’ display for Mining Week.
In 2011, while drilling at the most extreme levels of the Kidd Mine, geologists discovered what is estimated to be billion-year-old water, which attracted attention from national media, scientists and NASA.
“We are looking at a sample of water that was collected at the 8,000 level,” said Pete Calloway, chief geologist for Kidd Mine. “The general thought right now is that this is extremely old water. We aren’t sure how old quite yet, we are leaving it up to the professors at the University of Toronto to make that determination.”
Calloway can draw his own conclusions about the nature of the water, but he’ll let the brains at the university draw the official conclusions. “What we believe is that this water has been trapped within the fractures of the mine and it could be as old as the mine, (mineral formation) which is 2.7 billion years old,” said Calloway. “As we do our work underground and drill the ore body to find out things like grade, tonnage and so on, so that we can plan the mine around the drill holes, we were coming into micro fractures and different faults throughout the mine which in turn liberated the water into the drill hole.”
Drill teams were then able to sample the water at the collar of the drill hole.
“This is what we are looking at right here,” said Calloway, holding up the jar. “This is a sample that bled right out of the collar of the drill hole. We haven’t found the source of the water, but throughout the body of the mine, there could be several sources, but these things are either trapped in the rocks, or in micro fractures or along fault planes.”
Without outside influence, there is no telling how much longer this ancient water would have remained untouched.
“The water has no way of escaping until you drill into these rocks,” said Calloway. “As to the volume and composition of this water body, it is still too early to say.”
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