Canadian Mining Journal

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DIAMOND EXPLORATION – Baffin Island, James Bay Lowlands appeal to De Beers; latest Gahcho Ku results

TORONTO - DE BEERS CANADA is in the midst of developing two new diamond mines in Canada, but those activities don't...


TORONTO – DE BEERS CANADA is in the midst of developing two new diamond mines in Canada, but those activities don’t seem to keep the company busy enough. Its exploration department is active on properties that might eventually become more producers.

A new kimberlite dike, dubbed “Aliguja”, has been identified at the Baffin Island project, which is part of De Beers Canada’s High Arctic joint venture with Vancouver’s PURE GOLD MINERALS (www.PureGold.ca). The new discovery was made by diamond drilling approximately 2 km east of the Amon kimberlite, found last year.

The 2006 exploration program focused on the core area of the Baffin Island project where a kimberlite boulder train stretches over a length of more than 50 km. The area has been defined in detail over the last two years, said the press release from Pure Gold. The mineral chemistry is highly prospective, and some microdiamonds were recently found.

TRIGON EXPLORATION CANADA of Kelowna, B.C., and De Beers have teamed up to explore Trigon’s Weiland diamond project in the James Bay Lowlands. De Beers will provide funding of $4.8 million to earn a 60% interest, and Trigon will be the operator.

The Weiland project is located in an area where several diamondiferous kimberlite pipes were discovered in the mid-1990s. Earlier this year, Trigon (www.TrigonExploration.com) flew approximately 23,000 line-kilometres of low-level, high-resolution airborne magnetics over a portion of the project area using proprietary methods. Results from this effort led to the staking of numerous high priority kimberlite targets.

MOUNTAIN PROVINCE DIAMONDS of Toronto has released interim drilling information from the advanced Gahcho Ku project in the Northwest Territories. The project is a joint venture of De Beers (the operator and 51% owner), Mountain Province (44.1%) and CAMPHOR VENTURES (4.9%).

The summer drilling program of six holes was a continuation of the winter program, from which hole MPV-05-242C returned 1,773 microdiamonds (using a 75-micron cutoff) from a kimberlite sample weighing 192 kg. Results from four holes are pending.

The Gahcho Ku project was referred to an Environmental Impact Review by the Mackenzie Valley Environmental Impact Review Board in June 2006. In July 2006, De Beers filed an application for a judicial review of the referral. Once this judicial review is complete the priority will be to move through the permitting process as efficiently as possible in order to meet the projected timeline for full production in 2012.

Additional information about Gahcho Ku is available at www.DeBeersCanada.com and www.MountainProvince.com.