by Greg Klein | January 26, 2015
Reporting from its Chidliak project on Nunavut’s Baffin Island, Peregrine Diamonds TSX:PGD announced a nearly 15% increase to the inferred resource that debuted in May. The January 26 update brings the CH-6 kimberlite’s inferred numbers to 3.32 million tonnes averaging 2.58 carats per tonne for 8.57 million carats. The update uses the same grade as the maiden resource. “All of the resource expansion at CH-6 was near surface, above 120 metres’ depth,” stated company president Brooke Clements. The kimberlite “has a surface expression of approximately one hectare and is open at depth,” Peregrine added.
An evaluation early last year of a 1,013.5-carat parcel of commercial-size rough diamonds from CH-6 brought an average $213 per carat. Various sources place the global average between about $100 and $120 per carat.
Peregrine also offered tonnage estimates that are “classified as targets for further exploration and are conceptual in nature.” In addition to the 43-101 resource, the CH-6 tonnage estimate now ranges between 3.2 and 4.38 million tonnes.
Additionally the CH-7 kimberlite, about 15 kilometres southeast of CH-6, gets an estimated 3.72 to 6.01 million tonnes, a 35% to 51% increase over last May’s numbers. About 17 kilometres southeast of CH-6, CH-44 gets an estimated 1.27 to 3.19 million tonnes, a 10% to 56% increase. “It is uncertain if further exploration will result in the tonnage estimates being delineated as a mineral resource,” Peregrine noted.
With large-diameter reverse circulation drilling expected to begin in early March, the three kimberlites will undergo about 1,000 tonnes of total sampling to determine grade and price estimates. Chidliak has a preliminary economic assessment slated for next year.
The company also holds a 72% stake in the WO project in the Northwest Territories’ Lac de Gras region. A 2008 indicated resource for the DO-27 kimberlite showed 19.5 million tonnes averaging 0.94 c/t for 18.2 million carats.