Barren Lands: An Epic Search For Diamonds in the North American Artic

by Kevin Krajick

In the late 1970s, two men set out on what would prove to be a twenty-year quest to find a North American gem mine, along a fabled path that had defied sixteenth-century explorers, Wild West fortune seekers, and moderngeologists.

  • Paperback
  • Pages: 442 pages
  • Average Rating: 4.3 out of 5
  • Published October 1st 2001 by Holt Paperbacks
  • Original Title: Barren Lands: An Epic Search For Diamonds in the North American Artic
  • ISBN: 0805071857 (ISBN13: 9780805071856)
  • Edition Language: English

In the late 1970s, two men set out on what would prove to be a twenty-year quest to find a North American gem mine, along a fabled path that had defied sixteenth-century explorers, Wild West fortune seekers, and modern geologists. They are an unlikely pair: Chuck Fipke, a ragged fanatical prospector with a singular talent for finding sand-size mineral grains, and Stew Blusson, an ultra-tough geologist and helicopter pilot. Inventive, eccentric, and ruthless, they follow a trail of clues left by predecessors-and a few actual gems-all the way from backwoods Arkansas up the glaciated high Rockies into the vast and haunted barren lands of northern Canada. With a South African geochemist’s secret weapon, Fipke and Blusson outwit rivals, including the immense De Beers cartel, and make one of the world’s greatest diamond discoveries-setting off a stampede unseen since the Klondike gold rush. Barren Lands offers an unforgettable journey for those who, in the words of a nineteenth-century trapper, “want to see that country before it is all gone.”