Located on an island about 300 kilometres north of the N.W.T. capital, the Acasta River rock deposit is believed to be 3.96 billion years old, making it the oldest known intact crustal deposit on Earth, according to a team of U.S. and Canadian geologists led by Sam Bowring of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
Prospector Mark Brown is now selling chunks of the ancient rock, which he had brought back after he staked a claim in the area.
Brown started a website — called Rock of Ages N.W.T. — to market the chunks, and he said he showed off some specimens to visitors at Northern House during the Winter Olympics in Vancouver.
“I had one fellow at the Olympics there … he said, ‘That would make an excellent headstone.’ I’d never really thought of it like that,” Brown said with a laugh.
“I talked to another chap there from Germany, and [he] thought making chess people would be a good thing,” he added. “I look at it as 100 per cent raw potential.”