Charles E. Fipke

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Charles E. Fipke Centre for Innovative Research at University of British Columbia's Okanagan campus.

Charles Edgar (Chuck) Fipke (born 1946) is a prospector who discovered the existence of diamonds around Lac de Gras in Canada's Northwest Territories. He is now a multimillionaire diamond magnate.


Fipke was born in Edmonton, Alberta. In 1970, he graduated from University of British Columbia with a Bachelor of Science (Honours) degree in Geology.

Fipke, called, "Stumpy" and "Captain Chaos" by employees, had made finding diamonds in the north of Canada his singular goal since their discovery in late 1970s. A joint venture between Fipke's Dia Met Minerals and BHP-Utah in the 1980s and 1990s culminated in the establishment of Canada's first diamond mine, Ekati Diamond Mine, in 1998. Fipke and partner Stu Blusson each own 10% of Ekati.

Fipke was divorced by his wife Marlene, who had been with him since he began searching for the diamonds. This divorce at the time was Canada's largest divorce settlement with her portion of the assets estimated to be approximately C$123.1 million.[1]

In 2006, Fipke donated C$6 million to the University of British Columbia to support the creation of a centre for innovative research.[2]

Fipke breeds and races Thoroughbred racehorses. Tale of Ekati, named for his diamond mine, is his most successful horse. His horse Golden Soul, which was a longshot in the 2013 Kentucky Derby, finished second and had a payout more than three times higher than the winner Orb (38.60 vs. 12.80).[3]

Fipke's history is a significant portion of the plot line in the book "Bones are Forever" by Kathy Reichs. The book is also the inspiration for the long-running United States television series "Bones".[citation needed]

Honors and Awards[edit]

  • The Northern Miner's Mining Man of the Year 1992.[4]
  • PDAC's Prospector of the Year 1992.[5]
  • H.H. “Spud” Huestis Award (1997).[6]
  • Daniel C. Jackling Award (2004).[7]
  • Robert M. Dreyer Award (2005).[8]
  • Inducted in to the Canadian Mining Hall of Fame (2013).[9]


Further reading[edit]