Winter program on AK in full swing

A $14-million progam of drilling and bulk sampling is under way at the AK-CJ project in the Northwest Territories, 100 km southeast of Lac de Gras.

Monopros, the Canadian exploration arm of De Beers Consolidated Mines (DBRS-Q), plans to drill 32 large-diameter holes in an attempt to recover 1,000 carats from each of the Hearne, Tuzo and 5034 pipes, and 200 carats from the smaller Tesla pipe. De Beers believes this will provide a sufficient number of diamonds to estimate the grades and values for each pipe.

Monopros can earn a 60% interest in the property from owners Mountain Province Mining (MPV-V) and Camphor Ventures (CFV-V) by spending at least $18 million on bulk sampling, completing a bankable feasibility study and advancing the project to commercial production. After Monopros earns in, Mountain Province will have a 36% interest, while Camphor will be left with 4%.

Bulk sampling began in mid-January and is expected to last 10-12 weeks. The samples will be treated initially in Canada and then shipped to De Beers’ lab in South Africa for final recovery of diamonds. Results are not expected until the summer.

A separate program of delineation drilling, consisting of 18 holes, began in early December 1998. The program is designed to define the four pipes at depth.

Mountain Province estimates the Hearne pipe hosts a resource of 8 million tonnes of kimberlite, the Tuzo pipe, 9 million tonnes, and the Tesla pipe, 4 million tonnes — all to a depth of 300 metres. These estimates are based on a limited number of drill holes and the size of the geophysical anomalies.

The 5034 body is estimated by Monopros to contain a resource of 15 million tonnes of kimberlite at an average grade of 1.6 carats per tonne. The 5034 stones are valued at US$51 per carat, indicating an implied value of US$82 per tonne.

De Beers determined preliminary estimates of grade and diamond values for the three other pipes: the Hearne pipe grades 2.33 carats per tonne at US$44 per carat, equivalent to US$103 per tonne; Tuzo has an indicated grade of 2.2 carats per tonne at US$68 per carat, for an implied value of US$150 per tonne; and Tesla grades 0.37 carat per tonne at US$96 per carat, equivalent to US$36 per tonne.

An aggressive program of exploration drilling is to begin this winter, once delineation drilling is completed. Targets near Kennedy Lake and on other parts of the claims will be tested.

Immediately south of the AK property are the LA 1-25 claims, where Gerle Gold (GGL-V) is mobilizing a field crew to continue lake bottom sediment-sampling at Blob Lake, which straddles LA 5 and LA 6 claims. The new results will be used in conjunction with results from previous geophysical, structural, geochemical and indicator mineral sampling in an attempt to narrow down potential drill targets.

The LA 1-25 claims comprise part of the Doyle Lake project, a 60-40 joint venture between Monopros and Gerle. The border of the LA-7 claims is just 200 metres south of the Hearne pipe.


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