Ahead of a maiden resource estimate due out later this year, results from Kennady Diamonds’ (TSXV: KDI) Kennady North project in the Northwest Territories continue to confirm expectations of a high-grade project.
A 933-kg sample taken from the Faraday kimberlite at Kennady North returned a total of 4,628 diamonds weighing 4.76 carats for a grade of 5.1 carats per tonne.
If only the commercial-sized diamonds (larger than 0.85 mm) recovered from the sample are considered — 97 diamonds weighing a total of 3.62 carats — the sample grade shrinks to a still-impressive 3.88 carats per tonne.
“The Faraday sample grade of 5.1 carats per tonne is outstanding and amongst the highest diamond sample grades recorded in Canada,” said Kennady Diamonds president and CEO Patrick Evans in a release. “This result confirms that the Faraday kimberlite has the potential to host a high-grade diamond resource.”
The largest three diamonds recovered from Faraday were: a 0.4-carat off-white transparent octahedral measuring 4.6 by 3.3 by 2.7 mm; a 0.25-carat white/colourless, transparent octahedral measuring 3.7 by 3 by 2.5 mm; and a 0.22-carat white/colourless, transparent octahedral measuring 4 by 2.5 by 2 mm.
Almost all of the commercial-sized diamonds are described as transparent and either white/colourless or off-white.
Last year, a 116-kg sample from Faraday returned a grade of 11.23 carats per tonne, while a 4.3-tonne sample from Kelvin returned a grade of 5.38 carats per tonne.
The latest diamond results come only two weeks after Kennady announced it was doubling its summer drill program to 10,000 metres and adding a third drill rig after hitting the longest intercept of kimberlite yet (183 metres) in drilling at Kelvin.
As the intercept lay outside of the geological model for the Kelvin, which is a kimberlite dyke rather than a pipe, it could mean the company can look forward to unveiling a larger-than-expected initial resource later this year.
Kennady had been aiming for at least 10-16 million carats in 5 to 8 million tonnes grading 2 carats per tonne.
The junior does not necessarily need to prove up enough resources for a standalone mine as its project is adjacent to the Gahcho Kué mine currently being built by De Beers and Mountain Province Diamonds (TSX: MPV; NYSE-MKT: MDM).
Shares in Kennady climbed 92¢, or 15%, over two days to $6.97. The company has 22.9 million shares outstanding and has traded in a 52-week range of $2.03-8.74.