Stornoway Diamond Corp. and Teck Cominco Ltd. have uncovered promising kimberlites in separate exploration programs in Nunavut Territory this summer.
Stornoway, one of Canada’s leading diamond hunters, announced discovery Aug. 23 of a new kimberlite pipe at the Aviat Project, the company’s northernmost venture in eastern Nunavut.
Teck Cominco discovered four new kimberlites during its first drilling campaign on the Darby Project, bringing to nine the total number of kimberlites uncovered so far on the 685,000-acre property, its partner Indicator Minerals Inc announced Sept. 25.
Promising find excites explorersStornoway, a mid-tier exploration company, owns a 70 percent interest in Aviat, with BHP Billiton holding 20 percent and Hunter Exploration Group the remaining 10 percent. The prospect is one of Stornoway’s six joint ventures on the Melville Peninsula. Since it began exploring Aviat in 2002, Stornoway has made 11 kimberlite discoveries there, and the property was its principal exploration focus in 2006.
The latest pipe, known as AV9, represents the third pipe-like body identified within Aviat’s Tremblay Corridor where a total of 12 significantly diamondiferous kimberlites have been discovered, according to the Vancouver, B.C.-based junior. AV9 lies about 2.4 miles east-southeast of the AV1 kimberlite pipe, which previously returned a diamond content of 0.83 carats per metric ton
“The AV9 kimberlite pipe was discovered as a result of a concerted effort to identify the source of a high priority indicator mineral and diamondiferous boulder train within Aviat’s ‘Eastern Sheet Complex’,” said Stornoway CEO Eira Thomas. “Drilling to date, including two separate 87 meter intersections, has not constrained the size of this prospective body which contains abundant indicator minerals and mantle nodules. The discovery of a new kimberlite pipe within four kilometers of the AV1 and AV4 pipes demonstrates the continuing exploration potential of the Tremblay Corridor and adds exciting kimberlite tonnage potential to the project.”
Teck completes first season of explorationTeck drilled 32 targets, conducted an aerial survey and collected nearly 1,000 samples at Darby, which is located about 120 miles southwest of Kugaaruk in Nunavut. The major plans to spend $14 million by 2010 to earn a 51 percent interest in the
Indicator Minerals can retain a 29 percent stake in the project, while Hunter Exploration holds the remaining 20 percent.
Indicator President and CEO Bruce Counts the 2007 program expanded the Franklin kimberlite field, which is believed to be centered on the Darby property. “We have identified numerous compelling targets in the new airborne data that will be tested in 2008, and we completed a comprehensive sampling program on the prospective ground that was acquired last year,” he added.
Test results from the samples are expected in October, the company said.