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By Rose Ragsdale
For Mining News 

Nunavut diamond finds excite investors

Junior culls 862 diamonds from three drill-hole samples taken during 2007 exploration in northeast Nunavut near Pelly Bay

 

Last updated 1/27/2008 at Noon



High diamond counts from an exploration property in Nunavut Territory are raising hopes in Canadian investment circles of a new diamond mining district in Canada's far north. Diamonds North Resources Ltd. reported finds of 862 high-quality diamonds Jan. 8 and Jan. 14 from drill-hole samples of three kimberlites located on its 2 million-acre Amaruk property in the Pelly Bay Diamond District in northeast Nunavut.

Diamond counts for two of the kimberlites averaged 2.5 diamonds per kilogram and 2 diamonds per kilogram.

Diamonds North said the results are "very significant as it is generally considered positive to recover 1 diamond per kilogram."

The Vancouver, B.C.-based junior said a total of 550 diamonds were recovered from an 81.75 kilogram reverse circulation/percussion drill-hole sample from the Tuktu-1 kimberlite. A bulk sample program is planned for this kimberlite.

More than 90 percent of the diamonds recovered from the 0.30-millimeter mesh and above are white with the majority being clear octahedral crystals forms, Diamonds North said.

A 72.8 kilogram drill-hole sample of Qavvik 3 yielded 183 diamonds and a 65.7 kilogram sample of Qavvik-4 yielded 129 diamonds. These kimberlites are part of the Qavvik kimberlite cluster, which is about 15 kilometers from Tuktu-.

The largest diamonds recovered from Qavvik 3 are: a clear, white fragment measuring 1.18mm x 0.6mm x 0.58mm; and, an irregular clear, white crystal measuring 1.2mm x 0.8mm x 0.44mm. The largest diamond recovered from Qavvik-4 is a clear, white fragment measuring 1.02mm x 0.68mm x 0.54mm.

Diamond results for another 16 kimberlites are pending, including eight more kimberlite discoveries in the Tuktu area. So far, Diamonds North said it has discovered 22 kimberlites on the Amaruk property and 500 more compelling geophysical targets remain to be tested.

Too early to declare success

Shares of Diamonds North jumped 129 percent Jan. 8 to C$1.79 a share from 78 cents Canadian on the Toronto Stock Exchange as news of the diamond discovery reached the market.

Diamond industry analysts said the finds may portend discovery of another major diamond district in Canada, but it was too early to tell.

Diamonds North has said it would like to continue its exploration program in 2008, but with equipment designed to extract larger diamonds in drill samples.

Since 2002, the company has evaluated more than 300 million acres in Nunavut and the Northwest Territories and narrowed its search to about 8 million acres and a half-dozen or so prospects it is exploring alone or in partnership with others.

Its exploration targets include Victoria Island in Nunavut and Banks Island and Hepburn in the Northwest Territories, the company said.

Nickel at Amaruk, too

In addition, Diamonds North has identified an outcropping on the Amaruk property with significant quantities of nickel. Grab samples from the highly oxidized sulphide-rich outcrop have yielded nickel values, ranging from 1.71 to 0.51 percent with significant copper and cobalt credits. Sample N-1 yielded 1.71 percent nickel, 0.47 percent copper and 0.06 percent cobalt.

Though its principal focus is on exceptional diamond potential at Amaruk, Diamonds North said the prospect also "represents the opportunity to test a major nickel-copper-cobalt target in an area previously unknown for base metals."

Plans include a detailed EM survey to better define drill targets and a drilling program tentatively scheduled for May.

 

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