Peregrine ramps up exploration at its Nunavut diamond property
Company plans $10-million program at Chidliak near Iqaluit.
Field operations are underway at Chidliak diamond project located 120 kilometres from Iqaluit, Peregrine Diamonds Ltd. said April 11.
The $10-million 2012 exploration program will consist primarily of advanced preparations for the 2013 bulk sampling program (which gives an idea of the marketable potential of a property’s finds), the company said.
There will also be “significant exploration” to discover more kimberlites, which are usually found in large conical structures called pipes and often contain diamonds.
Work for the summer also includes drill testing, aerial and ground geophysical surveys, mineral sampling, mapping and prospecting.
Prospecting so far has resulted in the discovery of 25 of the 59 kimberlites discovered at Chidliak to date, as many kimberlites on the project are exposed at surface, Peregrine noted.
A 1,512.3 kilogram sample of drill core collected from a kimberlite in 2011 yielded 4,867 diamonds, including 166 commercial-sized diamonds.
The Sunrise camp is now open at Chidliak and the crew is preparing for the arrival of of support equipment from Iqaluit, Peregrine said.
Once on site, this equipment will be used to test transportation routes between the known kimberlites and aircraft landing areas in preparation for the planned bulk sample collection next winter.
That bulk sampling was to have taken place this year, before BHP Billiton sold its 51 per cent interest in Childiak, saying it would only pursue options that would preserve the company’s safety and environmental record, and protect benefits created for local communities.
Peregrine then decided to postpone the planned bulk sampling.
Now it’s received changes to its existing land use permit and water license required for bulk sampling.
Bulk sample collection from key kimberlites is now scheduled to start in February 2013, and, subject to results and renewal of required permits and licences, will continue in 2014, Peregrine said.