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Arctic Star Exploration to resume work and increase stake in NWT diamond project

by Greg Klein | July 27, 2020

The idled but promising Diagras project should see new activity as one joint venture partner takes over operations from the other. New manager Arctic Star Exploration TSXV:ADD, which holds the minority portion of the 60/40 JV, announced a proposed $1.6-million budget over the next 12 months to drill the Diagras property next spring. JV partner Margaret Lake Diamonds TSXV:DIA “has elected not to participate in this program and, in doing so, will dilute once the program completes and expenditures are met,” Arctic Star stated.

Arctic Star Exploration plans to resume work, increase stake in NWT diamond project

Hosting 21 kimberlites discovered by De Beers, Diagras sits within the Northwest Territories’ Lac de Gras diamond field that’s home to the recently suspended Ekati mine and the Rio Tinto NYSE:RIO/Dominion Diamond Mines Diavik operation.

Spring offers optimum work conditions in the region, when winter roads and rig-friendly frozen lakes coincide with over 12 hours of daily light. Arctic Star’s agenda also calls for geophysics on seven kimberlites that have yet to undergo gravity and electromagnetic surveys. Permitting is already underway.

Arctic Star’s approach borrows from the success of Kennady Diamonds on its Kennady North project, two kilometres southeast of Diagras. While previous Lac de Gras explorers relied heavily on magnetics, that approach might find only a portion of a larger kimberlite complex that contains other geophysical features. Kennady’s gravity and EM surveys showed the Kelvin and Faraday kimberlites to be “complexes with previously unknown kimberlite phases that were highly diamondiferous,” Arctic Star explained.

In 2018 Kennady and its project were taken over by Mountain Province Diamonds TSX:MPVD, which JVs with De Beers on the adjacent Gahcho Kué operation.

Gravity and EM surveys employed so far at Diagras have found at least five targets that warrant drilling, according to Arctic Star. Examples include the Black Spruce kimberlite, with distinct gravity and EM anomalies, and the HL01 kimberlite, where “previous workers may have thought an EM anomaly was explained by the magnetic kimberlite targeted and drill-tested. However our ground EM survey shows a distinct EM anomaly to be separate to the magnetic anomaly, and it deserves a dedicated drill test.”

Surveys also reveal drill targets at the property’s Jack Pine, Suzanne, Kong and Penelope kimberlites.

In Finland, however, Arctic Star has suspended field work on its 100%-held Timantti diamond project due to pandemic-related travel restrictions. Plans remain to process 150 kilograms of samples from the two most recently discovered of the property’s nine known diamondiferous kimberlites. The company intends to resume ground work when travel becomes viable.

In February Arctic Star closed a private placement totalling $868,400.

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