History of Diamond and Precious Metal Geology Institute, Siberian Branch, Russian Academy of Sciences

First geologic scientific research subdivision – geologic department – was established in 1947 in structure of Yakutian (Якутской) scientific research base of Academy of Sciences of the USSR. Department, staffed with several employees, initially studied conditions of exploitation of subpermafrost water and mineralogy of iron-ore deposits of Yakutia. In 1951, plan of scientific researches of Yakutian branch of Academy of Sciences of the USSR included eight subjects on the problems of geologic structure of Yakutia and distinct types of mineral raw materials. In ten years, according to decree № 57 of Academy of Sciences of the USSR, dated 18th of January, 1957, by order № 77 of the Presidium of Yakutian Branch, Siberian Branch, Academy of Sciences of the USSR, dated 12th of April, Institute of geology of Yakutian branch of Academy of Sciences of the USSR was established, based on department of geology, laboratory of coal chemistry and technology, geochemical laboratory and geologic group of Yakutian complex expedition. It became a member of newly formed Siberian branch of Academy of Sciences of the USSR in that year. Y.P. Ivensen, Honored worker of sciences of Yakutia, doctor of geologic-mineralogic sciences, was director-organizer of the Institute.

In 1989 it was renamed Yakutian institute of geologic sciences, and in 1997 renamed Institute of geologic sciences, Siberian Branch, Russian Academy of Sciences. In 1999, department of oil and gas geology became independent institute, and the Institute of geologic sciences, according to decree № 207 of the Presidium of Russian Academy of Sciences, dated 12.11.2000, was renamed Diamond and Precious Metal Geology Institute, Siberian Branch, Russian Academy of Sciences.

Corresponding member of Academy of Sciences of the USSR I.S. Rozhkov (1957-1964), Honored workers of sciences of Yakutia and Russia, doctor of geologic-mineralogic sciences K.B. Mokshantsev (1965-1987), corresponding member of Academy of Sciences of the USSR V.V. Kovalsky (1978-1986), doctor of geologic-mineralogic sciences B.V. Oleinikov (1987-2000), doctor of geologic-mineralogic sciences L.M. Parfenov (2000-2002), doctor of geologic-mineralogic sciences A.P. Smelov (2002-2014) were at the head of the Institute.

Initially, structure of the Institute included departments of stratigraphy, tectonics and lithology (B.S. Rusanov); ore deposits and metallogeny (Y.P. Ivensen); diamond geology (A.A. Menailov); combustible minerals (A.V. Aleksandrov); nonmetalliferous minerals (T.I. Anodin) and analytical laboratory (K.S. Pakhomova), with 60 employees. In five years number of employees increased three times as much. Unique geologic structures of the Siberian platform and the Verkhoyansk-Kolyma folded area, containing various complex of deposits of mineral resources, in the first instance – diamonds, gold and hydrocarbon materials, became the subject of researches. In 1999, department of oil and gas geology became independent institute, and the Institute of geologic sciences was renamed Diamond and Precious Metal Geology Institute, Siberian Branch, Russian Academy of Sciences.

At present time, the Institute is focused on the study of diamond and precious metal deposits, scientific forecast of discovery of new deposits, development of modern technologies of rough diamond processing. Study of structure of craton lithosphere and collision zones; geology, mineralogy and forecast of diamond and precious metal deposits, as well as diamond technologies are basic trends of scientific research. Structure of the institute includes laboratories of geology and petrology of diamondiferous provinces (O.B. Oleinikov),  geology and mineralogy of precious metals (A.V. Kostin), geodynamics and regional geology (A.V. Prokopiev), stratigraphy and paleontology (R.V. Kutygin) and geologic museum (M.D. Tomshin), as well as department of physical-chemical methods of analysis (L.T. Galenchikova). At present , there are 167 employees at the Institute, among them 60 researchers, 11 Doctors of Science and 34 Candidates of Science.

Diamond and Precious Metal Geology Institute, Siberian Branch, Russian Academy of Sciences is a leading scientific institution in the Northeast Asia; it carries out large-scale integrated theoretical and applied researches in fundamental problems of stratigraphy, tectonics, lithology, magmatism, identification of regularities of location and formation of unique and nontraditional mineral resources within basic scientific fields: inner structure of craton lithosphere and collision zones; geology, mineralogy and forecast of diamond and precious metal deposits, diamond technologies.

Long-standing researches in the area allowed to characterize, for the first time, various aspects of deep structure and history of the Earth’s crust evolution from ancient geologic epochs to modern ones, that became basis for the forecast of mineral resources. As a result, tectonic, geodynamic, metallogenic maps are drawn and published, as well as maps of oil and gas content, and maps of magmatic and metamorphic formations, etc. (G.D. Babayan, А.К. Bobrob, Е.I. Bodunov, G.А. Grinberg, А.А. Gudkov, Г.S. Gusev, V.М. Zhelinsky, Y.P. Ivensen, V.А. Kashirtsev, V.I. Kitsul, К.Е. Kolodeznikov, К.I. Mikulenko, К.B. Mokshantsev, Y.D. Nedosekin, N.I. Nenashev, А.F. Petrov, А.F. Safronov, S.А. Syundyukov, G.S. Fradkin, B.R. Shpunt and many others). “Map of terrains of the northern Pacific framing”, “Geodynamic map of the Northeast Asia” (L.M. Parfenov, A.V. Prokopiev, A.P. Smelov et al.) are drawn together with geologists from the Far East, Siberia, USA, Canada and Japan. Fundamentally new models of formation of orogenic belts, geologic and tectonic structure of basement of the northern part of the North Asian Craton, modern geodynamics of the Northeast Asia are proposed. Seismic zoning of Yakutia was carried out for the first time (B.M. Kozmin, V.S. Imaev, L.P. Imaeva et al.) Recommendations for seismic hazard were approved as normative documents for construction companies.

Some new fundamental knowledge on paleontology is obtained (B.S. Abramov, V.I. Andrianov, А.К. Valkov, V.F. Vozin, S.P. Ermakova, P.N. Kolosov, V.G. Knyazev, V.I. Sysoev, А.N. Tolstykh, А.I. Tomskaya et al.). Fossil horse, bison, woolly rhinoceros, unique mammoth cemetery are described in monograph, for the first time in Russia (B.S. Rusanov, Pl.L. Lazarev et al.) Detailed stratigraphic diagrams are developed and incorporated into geologic mapping (А.S. Kashirtsev, О.V. Grinenko, .G.Y Knyazev, R.V. Kutygin, V.V. Baranov et al.).

Study of the geology of diamond deposits is traditionally of the main directions of scientific activities of the Institute. V.V. Kovalsky headed this direction in 1961, who created Yakutian school of thought, which brought up a whole constellation of outstanding researchers of diamond geology: V.V. Beskrovanov, F.F. Brakhfogel, G.P. Bulanova, A.V. Varshavsky, A.P. Grigoriev, A.I. Zaitsev, G.V. Zolnikov, V.P. Kornilova, V.K. Marshintsev, K.N. Nikishov, O.B. Oleinikov, A.F. Safronov, P.P. Shamaev, E.A. Shamshina and others. Integrated approach to the solution assigned problem is typical for their studies. Geology and tectonics of diamondiferous provinces and diamond deposits; petrology, mineralogy, geochemistry and geochronology of kimberlites  and upper mantle rocks; diamond crystallography and mineralogy; experimental studies on diamond growth and ennoblement and others allowed to develop techniques of forecast, search and study of diamond, as well as thermochemical method of diamond processing. Scientific results were obtained, which have been and still remain the fundamental basis of researches of Russian and international geologists for many years.

Center of diamond technologies is formed at the Institute, where experimental-technological and constructive researches are carried out in order to find new areas of diamond application. These works are aimed to study possibilities of combination of thermochemical method of diamond processing and laser technologies.

Scientific support for expanding the mineral resources base of precious metals is no less important direction of the Institute activities. Huge amount of research was carried out on geology and substance composition of gold, tin, silver, antimony, base metal, platinum deposits over the past 50 years (V.A. Amuzinsky, G.S. Anisimova, G.N. Gamyanin, Y.Y. Zhdanov, E.D. Izbekov, L.N. Indolev, А.А. Kim, F.V. Kostin, A.Y. Kochetkov, G.G. Nevoisa, I.Y. Nekrasov, N.V. Nesterov, Z.S. Nikiforova, A.V. Okrugin, V.P. Samusikov, A.I. Skryabin, V.M. Supletsov, Y.N. Trushkov, V.E. Filippov, B.L. Flerov, A.I. Kholmogorov, Y.V. Yakovlev), that led to the discovery of series of deposits: tin-ore – Deputatskoe, Odinokoe, Churpunya, diamondiferous – Sarylakh, Nezhdaninskoe, Kyuchusm Badran. Lena rhodium-platinum province of placers was identified, which has no analogs in mineralogic-geochemical type of associations. Deputatskoe tin-ore deposit, Seligdar apatite deposit, Khongoruu zeolite deposits were discovered.

New data on the type of chemical elements occurrence in nature were obtained and native types of Al, Cd, Si, Ti (B.V. Oleinikov et al.) were discovered due to the proposed model of subsurface evolution of tholeiite-basalt magma in intermediate chamber. Physical-chemical models of formation of various magmatic and metamorphic rocks of the Earth’s crust and mantle and ore-bearing thermal springs were developed (V.S. Shkodzinsky). Nature of the evolution of the Mesozoic magmatism and regularities of its temporal and spatial distribution is defined (V.A. Trunilina). 13 International certificates were received for the discovery of new minerals (V.A. Amuzinsky, G.N. Gamyanin, Y.Y. Zhdaniv, N.V. Zayakina, A,A. Kim, K.A. Lazebnik, A.V. Okrugin et al.).

The main results of scientific activity are published in more than 1000 monographs and articles in leading Russian and international journals, like “Native gold of Yakutia”, “Sarkylakh and Sentachan gold-antimony deposits”, “Nezhdaninskoe gold-antimony deposit – unique deposit of the Northeast Russia”, “Placer platinum content of the Siberian platform”, “Phanerozoic tectonic evolution of the Circum-North Pacific”, “Tectonics, geodynamics and metallogeny of the Republic of Sakha (Yakutia)”, “Geologic monuments of Yakutia and others.

Long-term and fruitful work of leading researchers of the Institute is marked by awarding of titles “Honored Science Worker of the Russian Federation”, “Honored Science Worker of the Republic of Sakha (Yakutia)”, “Honored Geologist of the Republic of Sakha (Yakutia)”, “Honored Worker of National Economy of the Republic of Sakha (Yakutia)”, honorary diplomas, certificates and medals of Ministries and departments. The following researchers were awarded by the USSR State Prize: I.S Rozhkov (1949, 1951) for discovery and prospecting of mineral deposits., B.L. Flerov (1946) for discovery of tin-ore deposits of the Northeast, B.S. Rusanov (1950) for discovery of gold-bearing placers of the Northeast, I.Y. Nekrasoc (1970) doe discovery of Deputatsky tin-ore deposit. I.Y. Nekrasov, F.L. Smirnov, G.V. Ivensen were awarded by Deposit Discoverer Badge of the Ministry of geology of the USSR. R.V. Kutygin was awarded a medal of the Russian Academy of Sciences and prize for young scientists (2003), and he became a laureate of state prize of the Republic of Sakha (Yakutia) on science and technology for young scientists for the series of work.

Scientists of the Institute work in cooperation with the North-Eastern Federal University on integration scientific projects, they are actively involved in educational process. Joint scientific researches are carried out with scientists from the USA, Canada, Great Britain, Australia, India, South Africa, Korea, China, Germany. Exhibits of the geologic museum, one of the scientific and cultural centers of Yakutsk, glorified natural heritage of Yakutia at exhibitions in Korea, Japan, Mongolia, Austria, France and Germany. The Institute organized international scientific tours on geologic objects of Yakutia many times, within the framework of various International congresses and symposiums and International projects of geologic correlation.