Diamond News Roundup — Diavik drill results released as more work is planned

Complete results from spring drilling on the A-21 kimberlite pipe at the Diavik project near Lac de Gras, N.W.T., have been released.

The joint venture, held 60% by Kennecott Canada and 40% by Aber Resources (TSE), is the focus of a $23.5-million underground program aimed at exploring the A-154 South pipe.

The A-21 was discovered in the spring of 1994, about 4 km southeast of A-154 South. Of the 11 initial holes drilled in the vicinity of A-21, eight holes intersected kimberlite. The pipe is characterized by mud-rich, epiclastic horizons near the surface and is more competently pyroclastic at depth.

Caustic fusion results of three previously unreported holes are as follows: Hole A21-7 returned 6 macrodiamonds and 15 micros from 70.7 kg of core, with three stones measuring greater than 1 mm in one dimension; A21-8 yielded 29 macros and 69 micros from 164.3 kg of sample, with 5 diamonds measuring greater than 1 mm; A21-11 returned 83 macros and 180

micros from 275 kg of core sample, with 25 diamonds measuring greater than 1 mm.

In total, 300 macros and 789 micros were recovered from 1,385 kg of kimberlite sample (or 7.9 diamonds per 10 kg), with 84 stones measuring greater than 1 mm.

It appears the holes that intersected greater proportions of pyroclastic kimberlite contained a higher diamond yield.

Aber President Grenville Thomas concludes that drilling to date has not gone into the guts of the pipe. Further work on the A-21 pipe, to include delineation drilling at depth, will resume this fall.

– Till sampling on the Mackay and Back Lake properties, south of Lac de Gras, is being carried out by SouthernEra Resources (TSE) in an effort to define drill targets.

Preliminary processing of fewer than 50 of the more than 2,000 samples taken has yielded color pyrope garnets, eclogite garnets and chromites. Results to date confirm the presence of a mineral indicator train in the centre of the project area. Follow-up work is in progress.

SouthernEra is reported to be close to fulfilling its work requirements for earning a 70% interest in the project. Upon the interest being vested, Kalahari Resources (VSE) alone will hold 30% of the Mackay Lake property, while Kalahari and a consortium of juniors will hold a combined 30% stake in the Back Lake property. (Kalahari’s interest in Back Lake will be just under 20%.)

A one-time back-in right is held by Kennecott Canada. Should a significant discovery be made, Kennecott can exercise its right to acquire from SouthernEra a 35% interest in Mackay Lake and 30% in Back Lake.

– A diamond exploration joint-venture agreement has been reached between Ashton Mining of Canada (TSE), Lytton Minerals (TSE) and Pure Gold Resources (TSE).

Ashton can earn a 51% interest in the CR and LL claim blocks by incurring exploration expenditures of $1 million over the next two years. The claim blocks consist of 106,800 hectares in the Snare Lake region, west of the Lac de Gras diamond camps.

Lytton originally entered into an option agreement to acquire a half interest in the claims from Texas Star Resources, but earlier this year Pure Gold purchased all of Texas Star’s interest in 295,600 hectares of claims.

As part of the deal with Ashton, Lytton is deemed to have completed the earn-in of its interest in the claims, including block JC, which remains separate from the Ashton deal.

Upon Ashton vesting its interest, Lytton and Pure Gold will each hold a 24.5% interest in the CR and LL claims.

– A 6-hole program consisting of 1,500 metres is under way on the Mackay Lake property held by Adex Mining (TSE).

The property is 80 km southeast of the BHP-Dia Met project and 40 km northwest of Mountain Province’s 5034 pipe complex.

United Compass Resources (VSE) intends to drill-test three target areas representing geophysical anomalies. The company recently assumed the balance of a $740,000 work commitment, allowing it to earn a 37.5% interest in the property and Lucero Resource (VSE) a 12.5% interest.

– Subject to regulatory approval, GMD Resource (VSE) has signed two separate agreements to acquire a total of 70,884 hectares of mining claims in the Mackenzie mining district.

The company has completed a private placement of 245,000 units at $1.14 per unit. Each unit consists of one common share and a 2-year warrant allowing for the purchase of an additional share at $1.30 in the first year, or $1.50 in the second year.


– De Beers Consolidated Mines and De Beers Centenary reported combined attributable earnings of US$398 million for the first half of 1995, a 17% increase over earnings in the same period last year.

De Beers’ directors note, however, that the improvement to its balance sheet is not expected to be sustained in the second half, as the sales of the Central Selling Organization will not match those of the first half.

De Beers describes the fundamentals of the diamond business as “positive,” with good retail sales being reported in the first half of this year. However, confidence in the rough diamond markets continues to wane in anticipation of the outcome of negotiations with Russia on the renewal of the sales agreement.

– Equal joint-venture partners Trillion Resources (TSE) and Nickelodean Minerals (VSE) continue to search for kimberlites in Zimbabwe.

A reconnaissance geochemical survey was carried out over 15 km of the Mphoengs greenstone belt, revealing numerous gold trends, and trenching is planned to test these targets. On the diamond front, the partners located a second kimberlite on the Sansukwe exploration licence during a program of stream-sediment sampling.

A pitting program is under way to establish the size of this kimberlite, called the Mweha-1. The target is 15 km west of the Mamhali-1 kimberlite, discovered in May of this year, and is thought to represent an entirely different cluster.

Follow-up work is under way on the Mamhali-1 kimberlite, including soil sampling and ground geophysical surveys. Meanwhile, exploration within a 15-sq.-km area is expected to lead to the identification of other kimberlite intrusions.

Stream-sediment sampling in the vicinity of the Mweha-1 kimberlite has resulted in the recovery of numerous kimberlite indicator minerals. And a follow-up program has revealed a third area, the Makorokora, with positive kimberlite indicator minerals.


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