The Canadian diamond industry is hot, hot, hot these days. With two mines (Ekati and Diavik) up and running and with more in development (Jericho and Snap Lake) it’s no wonder the hunt for gems is galloping across northern Canada.
DIADEM RESOURCES and its joint venture partner DARNLEY BAY RESOURCES have begun staking and exploration along the Franklin diabase dike swarm near Paulatuk, N.W.T. Including the newly-staked claims, the venture will control about 850,000 acres in addition to 800,000 acres on which it holds exploration permits. Drilling is planned for this summer.
KENNECOTT CANADA EXPLORATION has signed an agreement selling its Credit Lake property, Slave Province royalties and proprietary Slave Province database to ARCTIC STAR DIAMOND of Vancouver. Arctic will earn 100% interest by paying US$500,000 by the middle of April and spending US$850,000 on exploration. Kennecott has retained certain back-in rights. The Credit Lake property is located 60 km west of the Diavik mine and 40 km west of the Ekati mine.
Vancouver-based TECK COMINCO is earning an additional 30% in DIAMONDS NORTH RESOURCES’ Blue Ice property on Victoria Island, which straddles the Nunavut-N.W.T. border. Teck Cominco has also expanded its participation in the adjacent White Ice and Hadley Bay properties. The two companies are planning to spend at least $3-million exploration this year.
FOREST GATE RESOURCES reports that it has recovered 37 diamonds from a 475-kg sample from its 100%-owned Dizzy kimberlite at Fort la Corne, Sask. Eight of the stones qualify as macrodiamonds. The sample came from a five-hole drilling program completed in November 2003. Further work is planned on the Dizzy kimberlite and the rest of its East Side property.
COMAPLEX RESOURCES, which is advancing the Meliadine West gold project to the feasibility stage, says last year’s results were encouraging from the Melville and Southampton diamond exploration projects in Nunavut. Further work is planned there, but not on Complex’s Meliadine East diamond prospect.