The Tuzo kimberlite pipe on the AK property in the Northwest Territories has returned positive mini-bulk sampling results.
De Beers Consolidated Mines (DBRS-Q) subsidiary Monopros recovered 108 carats of diamonds from a 48-tonne reverse-circulation drill sample, using a 1-by-1-mm mesh screen size, for a preliminary grade of 2.24 carats per tonne. Ten of the stones weigh more than 0.8 carat; the two largest were 2.34 and 1.85 carats.
This compares with the 18 diamonds larger than 0.8 carat that were recovered from a 104-tonne mini-bulk sample of the 5034 pipe taken in September 1996.
The 5034 kimberlite is estimated to contain a resource of 15 million tonnes, down to a 300-metre depth, at a grade of 1.5 carats per tonne. In an initial evaluation of only those stones exceeding a commercial cutoff size of 1.65 mm, De Beers pegged their value at US$55 per carat.
Tuzo is one of three diamondiferous kimberlite pipes discovered last year within 1.1 km of the 5034 pipe.
The AK-CJ properties are held 90% by Mountain Province Mining (MPV-V) and 10% by Camphor Ventures (CFV-V). Monopros has the right to earn up to a 60% interest in the properties by spending at least $18 million on a bulk-sampling program, completing a bankable feasibility study and advancing the project to commercial production. If Monopros fully vests, Mountain Province will hold a 36% interest in the properties, while Camphor will be left with a 4% share.
Monopros collected 50-tonne mini-bulk samples from each of the Tuzo, Hearne, Tesla and 5034 pipes earlier this year, with the objective of determining preliminary grades and carat valuations. That information will be used to determine if a major underground bulk-sampling program is warranted.
Earlier microdiamond analysis on 278 kg of sample core from the Tuzo pipe yielded 697 diamonds, 55 of which were too large to pass through a 0.5-by-0.5-mm screen mesh. Twenty stones weighed over 0.01 carat, with the largest weighing 1.56 carats.
The Hearne pipe also yielded impressive microdiamond results. A 300-kg drill sample returned 763 stones, 88 of which did not pass through a 0.5-by-0.5-mm screen, and 10 of which did not pass through a 2-by-2-mm screen. The aggregate weight of the five largest diamonds was 0.92 carat, whereas 39 of the stones weighed more than 0.01 carat.
A 66-kg core sample from the Tesla pipe yielded 109 microdiamonds, eight of which did not pass through a 0.5-by-0.5-mm screen.
Further results from the mini-bulk samples collected from the Hearne, Tesla and 5034 pipes are expected in the next several weeks.
Immediately south of the AK property are the LA 1-25 claims, which comprise part of the Doyle Lake project, a 60-40 joint venture between Monopros and Gerle Gold (GGL-V). The border of the LA 7 claim is 200 metres south of the Hearne pipe.
A summer sampling program will continue to target high-priority areas at the Doyle Lake project. Gerle says it is planning a limited drilling program for late June or early July to test a number of lake-based targets that are accessible from shore. The project is wholly funded by Monopros.