by Greg Klein | November 4, 2014
A geologist involved in the discovery of Gahcho Kué, considered the world’s largest diamond development project, now brings his expertise to Prima Diamond TSXV:PMD as VP of exploration. Dr. Harrison Cookenboo’s background includes diamond exploration in Brazil, Russia and Canada, where he also helped discover Ontario’s largest diamond-bearing kimberlite.
“We have been searching for just the right diamond expert to lead our exploration program,” said CEO/president Robert Bick. “I am pleased to announce that Harrison Cookenboo fits the bill perfectly.”
His pursuit of diamonds began after several years in the field and completion of his PhD in geology. The Ekati and Diavik discoveries sparked further diamond exploration in the same Northwest Territories region. There, Cookenboo joined Canamera Geological Ltd, which was working under contract to Mountain Province Diamonds TSX:MPV.
Calling it “pretty exciting times,” Cookenboo tells ResourceClips.com, “I got involved in till sampling, setting up the lab where we processed 60,000 till samples over the next five or six years, discovered some mines and got to publish quite a bit of stuff about the exploration.”
“I was in charge of the quality of sample processing and getting all the information we could get out of those samples, then tie them to the airborne geophysics and also try to get more information out of the chemistry of the individual grains. We ended up discovering Gahcho Kué—what we discovered was the 5034 pipe, which is still the biggest and most important part of the mine. I ended up doing really all the geology on that including the 100-tonne mini-bulk sample, core logging, indicator mineral chemistry, building the 3D model.”
The momentous discovery came one night in February 1995 and immediately preceded another. “Canamera also discovered the Jericho mine the same night, which was really exciting. It made for an interesting next day, I’ll tell you.”
What attracted him to Prima? “First of all, the properties,” he responds. “They have really nice locations in the Northwest Territories, as well as the properties in Quebec. There have been some new developments in the Northwest Territories with some nice results out of the Kennady Diamonds [TSXV:KDI] project, making it a good time to look in that area again in places that really were only lightly explored. A lot of properties just outside of places like Gahcho Kué and Snap Lake were just lightly explored. Gahcho Kué is certainly going to become a world class mine shortly and Kennady is doing better than had been anticipated, so it’s opening that area up.”
In August Prima picked up two highly strategic properties—the Munn Lake project, 35 kilometres east of the Snap Lake diamond mine and 40 kilometres northwest of Gahcho Kué, and the Godspeed Lake project, adjacently south of Gahcho Kué and east of Kennady’s Kennady North. Last month Prima optioned the Orion diamond properties in Quebec’s Otish corridor, north of another mine in development, Stornoway Diamond’s (TSX:SWY) Renard project.
Past work on Munn Lake has revealed two diamondiferous kimberlites and at least five kimberlite indicator trains.
“Prima’s properties have the right address, there are some really good reported results from the first exploration boom and it’s good to be involved with Roger Morton, the professor emeritus at the University of Alberta. Everybody in the industry knows him,” added Cookenboo.
“I think Prima will prove itself an aggressive new diamond exploration company in a couple of the most important areas of Canada. That’s certainly a good thing for this time because I’ve seen a lot more diamond exploration interest and motivation around the world just in the last six months or even less.”
Disclaimer: Prima Diamond Corp is a client of OnPage Media Corp, the publisher of ResourceClips.com. The principals of OnPage Media may hold shares in Prima Diamond.