by Greg Klein | July 25, 2014
It’s Ekati in the language of the Dene and Lac de Gras in French. They both mean “Fat Lake” and, following the first diamond discovery there, the name extended to that area of the Slave geological province in the Northwest Territories. Roughly 300 kilometres northeast of Yellowknife, the region hosts three diamond mines and a fourth under development. On July 24 Kennady Diamonds TSXV:KDI and Peregrine Diamonds TSX:PGD updated their projects in the region.
Encouraging results from Kennady North—including the project’s longest-yet kimberlite intercept—have prompted Kennady to double its summer drill program to about 10,000 metres. A third rig will join the 61,000-hectare property, currently the site of delineation drilling and mini-bulk sampling, as well as exploration.
The Kelvin dyke’s star result was a 183-metre intersection (not true width) of kimberlite starting at a downhole depth of 151 metres outside the current geological model. Another delineation hole revealed 124 metres of kimberlite starting at 114.6 metres. Four mini-bulk samples at shallow depth showed kimberlite results of 102 metres, 110.3 metres, 102.4 metres and 72.6 metres.
The project hosts four known kimberlites, with Kelvin and Faraday undergoing both delineation drilling and mini-bulk sampling while MZ and Doyle get exploration drilling. In addition the company has identified at least four new geophysical targets.
A 25-tonne sample extracted from Kelvin last spring is now being processed, with results expected in early Q4. Diamond recovery from a one-tonne Faraday sample should be announced this quarter.
Last year’s recoveries “returned exceptional sample grades,” the company stated. A 4.3-tonne Kelvin sample showed 5.38 carats per tonne. A 116-kilogram Faraday sample graded 11.23 ct/t. The three largest Kelvin diamonds were a 2.48-carat off-white transparent octahedral, a 1.06-carat off-white broken aggregate and a 0.9-carat off-white transparent irregular. “The recovery of diamonds of this size and quality from a 4.3-tonne sample is very encouraging,” Kennady maintained.
The company has a maiden resource for the Kelvin-Faraday kimberlite corridor scheduled by year-end.
Kennady North lies adjacently north, west and south of Gahcho Kué, scheduled for production in 2016. Owners De Beers (51%) and Mountain Province Diamonds TSX:MPV (49%) like to call it “the world’s largest and richest new diamond development project.”
Immediately south of Gahcho Kué and neighbouring Kennady is Godspeed Lake, a 42,000-hectare property acquired by Prima Diamond TSXV:PMD earlier this month.
In other Lac de Gras news this month, Arctic Star Exploration TSXV:ADD and North Arrow Minerals TSXV:NAR announced their Redemption joint venture would undergo summer drilling of six to eight holes totalling about 1,000 metres.
Not to be ignored, Canada’s original diamond mine was the subject of a July Ekati update from Dominion Diamond TSX:DDC.
The same day Kennady released its drill results, Peregrine announced an updated technical report for its 15,810-hectare Lac de Gras project. The document summarizes work since 2008 on the project, where the DO-27 kimberlite hosts an indicated resource of 18.2 million carats. The company stated it’s “reviewing options, including commercial opportunities, to advance the project” which contains nine known kimberlites.
Ownership is somewhat fragmented, with the project divided into three areas. The DO-27 resource sits on the WO property, held 72.1% by Peregrine, 17.6% by Archon Minerals TSXV:ACS and 10.3% by DHK Diamonds Inc. The project also consists of the LDG Thelon property (70.5% Peregrine, 29.5% Thelon Capital TSXV:THC) and the LDG Peregrine property (100% Peregrine).
Last May Peregrine released an initial resource estimate for its flagship Chidliak project on Nunavut’s Baffin Island.
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