A Nunavut government project looking at quarries in the territory found some high quality stone for carvers this summer.
Carver Jerry Ell spent the summer inspecting quarries around Nunavut to grade the stone for Nunavut's Department of Economic Development and Transportation.
Ell visited sites near Pond Inlet, Arctic Bay, Rankin Inlet, Baker Lake and Iqaluit.
He said there are many quality sites including big deposits of marble near Arctic Bay and high grade stone at the Meadowbank mine near Baker Lake, although some has been affected by blasting.
"We've seen the pit where they are mining for gold," he said. "There is a substantial amount of soapstone that is considered waste material for the gold but for artists like myself, that's the real gold."
It's the third year of a four-year project looking at quarry sites and the supply of stone for carving.
Tommy Tappaanie Jr. of Iqaluit says carvers need good quality soapstone, and need to know where to find it.
"As a carver, I am thrilled that they found more soapstone around here because it can be hard to get," he said.
Information on the deposits is now available at municipal offices.
Next summer, the team plans to inspect quarries in the Kitikmeot region and in Sanikiluaq.