Canadian Mining Journal

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DIAMOND EXPLORATION NEWS Pace of Sampling, Drilling Heats Up

CANADA-WIDE If it isn't gold, it's diamonds that are driving the mineral exploration industry in Canada.


CANADA-WIDE If it isn’t gold, it’s diamonds that are driving the mineral exploration industry in Canada.

SUDBURY CONTACT MINES of Toronto has completed its large-diameter drilling program on its Timiskaming project in Northern Ontario. A mini-bulk sample of over 800 wet tonnes was extracted from six holes across kimberlite 95-2, the most promising. Using results of the recent drill program, the company is preparing a new 3-D model of the pipe. Sudbury Contact also reports that it has found a new kimberlite body, SC-118, on the Quebec portion of its Timiskaming project.

Wawa, Ont., is the closest town to the Festival diamond project where PELE MOUNTAIN RESOURCES and DE BEERS CANADA EXPLORATION (both based in Toronto) are testing samples from the Genesis diamond occurrence. The Festival property hosts more than 20 significant diamond occurrences, and much of the property is unexplored. A gem-quality, 0.72-ct white diamond was recovered from the Cristal occurrence in January 2003. De Beers is earning a 51% interest in the project. Pele Mountain staked additional claims in the James Bay Lowlands near its Attawapiskat project earlier this month.

The shaft at the Star diamond project near Prince Albert, Sask., has reached 173 metres deep of the planned 250 metres, says 100% owner SHORE GOLD of Saskatoon. The first lateral drifting has begun on the 173-metre level. Work on the Star kimberlite is designed to recover at least 3,000 ct of diamonds for valuation. Shore has a 10-t/h dense media separator plant on-site to treat bulk samples.

Still in northern Saskatchewan, KENSINGTON RESOURCES of Victoria, B.C., has completed its Phase 1 drilling program on several kimberlitic structures near Fort a la Corne. Significant intersections were encountered in each of the kimberlites drilled and sufficient coverage of the bodies from this program and previous drilling will permit construction of geological models, says Kensington. The Fort a la Corne diamond project is a joint venture of Kensington (42.25%), DE BEERS CANADA EXPLORATION (42.25%), CAMECO CORP. (5.5%), and UEM INC. (carried 10%).

Vancouver-based STORNOWAY DIAMOND CORP. has released drilling results from its Aviat project on the Melville Peninsula in eastern Nunavut. Although over 800 diamonds were recovered from the two kimberlites drilled, the AV-1 yielded the largest (4.0×3.5×2.34-mm) from a breccia phase. Stornoway Diamond president Eira Thomas says the project is still at an early stage, and the focus for next year will be regional exploration. Stornoway holds 70% of the Aviat project; BHP BILLITON (20%) and HUNTER EXPLORATION (10%) have the remainder.

Quebec’s James Bay Lowlands is home to several projects of interest to Montreal’s MAJESCOR. At Mistasasinai (where Canabrava can earn a 50% interest) visual results of the latest sampling campaign are encouraging. One 20-kg sample of river sand and gravel yielded 1,827 kimberlitic indicators. At Nottaway (100% Majescor) reverse circulation drilling has begun, and at Portage (also 100% Majescor) a short till- sampling campaign was completed. Indicator minerals are being found on these last two properties, also.

NORTHERN SHIELD RESOURCES of Ottawa has unearthed a "micro-fragment" of kimberlite from its 100%-owned Bradley property near Kapuskasing, Ont. The fragment was approximately 1.5 mm in diameter and consists of a "G9 pyrope grain mantled with a kelyphite rim and adhering phlogopite, serpentine and the occasional Cr-spinel and orthopyroxene," says the company.

So far, so good, all you diamond hunters. CMJ wishes you continued success.