Over the Labour Day long weekend, I tried my hand at prospecting in Nunavut. My friend, Lou, had taken the Nunavut Prospectors Program offered by the Department of Economic Development and Transportation, and invited me to be part of his Prospecta Incognita exploration team. He must have known I have an affinity for rocks. He could not have known I have spent hours of my life memorizing minerals in my undergraduate Earth and Ocean Sciences class. For both of those reasons, I was clearly in. Lou had taken the Introduction to Prospecting Course, which is available to any Nunavummiut who is interested in learning the basic skills needed to explore for minerals. The course is delivered by Government of Nunavut geologists in different communities on a rotating basis. Once you’ve taken the course, you too can apply for program funding and receive up to $8,000 per year to help pay for wages, materials, and supplies when looking for minerals.
So on a misty morning in Iqaluit, our fearless team of five set out on a grand adventure about 100 kilometers down Frobisher Bay. Over the following days, we explored parts of Nunavut that few people ever get the chance to visit. We climbed epic mountains and gathered various samples. We forged new friendships and fostered old ones. We had an incredible time doing so.
Here's how you can do it, too:
1) Get informed (by taking the Prospecting Course) and funded (through the Prospectors Program)
2) Find good friends (with a sense of adventure)
3) Find new friends (with a boat)
4) Pick a location
5) Collect rocks!
6) Keep track of your rocks
7) Sort your rocks for the science-y stuff that takes place elsewhere
While prospecting was a great experience in and of itself, it also gave us the ability to take advantage of many other activities that Nunavut has to offer. If you don’t believe me, check out some more photos from my trip.