March 28, 2011
Peregrine Diamonds Ltd. (“Peregrine” or “the Company”) is pleased to
announce that the Chidliak Joint Venture (Peregrine 49% and BHP Billiton
51%) has approved a $17.7 million 2011 exploration program on the 8,580
square kilometre Chidliak project (“Chidliak” or “the Project”) on
Baffin Island, Nunavut, Canada. Since 2008, 50 kimberlites have been
discovered on the Project, with seven of these having characteristics
consistent with economic potential in Arctic settings. Peregrine is the
operator of the 2011 program and field work has commenced.
The 2011 program has two primary objectives:
- Continued exploration focussed on discovering large kimberlites
using new targeting information developed from the 2010 discovery of the
CH-31 and CH-33 kimberlites. CH-31 is drill-confirmed at greater than
five hectares in surface area, and new geophysical interpretations for
CH-33 indicate potential for an elongated body with surface area greater
than seven hectares.
- Further evaluation of known kimberlites with economic potential by core drilling and/or mini-bulk sampling.
The 2011 program is expected to set the stage for the collection of bulk
samples in 2012 to obtain initial parcels of diamonds sufficient to
estimate the diamond value of the most promising kimberlites.
Mr. Tom Peregoodoff, Vice President, Exploration at BHP Billiton said
“BHP Billiton is encouraged by the initial results from the Chidliak
project. With our partner Peregrine Diamonds, we have made good
progress since the first kimberlite discovery in 2008 and we look
forward to a successful 2011 campaign.”
Mr. Brooke Clements, President of Peregrine, stated “We are confident
that the $17.7 million 2011 exploration program will allow us to advance
the Chidliak project substantially this year, building on our very
successful 2010 program during which 34 kimberlites were discovered.
There is real potential to discover additional large kimberlites which,
if found to have coarse diamond size distributions, would add
significant value to the Project.”
The main work activities approved for 2011 include the following:
- Up to 13,000 metres of core and reverse circulation (“RC”) drilling with the following principle objectives:
- Core and/or RC drilling of high-priority geophysical anomalies with
large surface footprints that have been selected from airborne
geophysical surveys conducted in 2008 and 2010, as well as priority
targets that will be developed from the airborne survey that is
- Core drilling of the known high-interest kimberlite bodies
to increase the understanding of their size, geology and diamond
- Collection of a mini-bulk sample of approximately five tonnes
by core drilling from the CH-31 kimberlite. CH-31 is estimated at over
five hectares in size and an 840 kilogram microdiamond sample collected
in 2010 returned 1.39 carats of commercial size (+0.85 mm) diamonds.
- Collection of a 20 tonne mini-bulk sample from the surface
of the CH-28 kimberlite. CH-28 is estimated at two hectares in size and
a 239 kilogram microdiamond sample collected in 2010 returned 0.193
carats of commercial size (+0.85 mm) diamonds.
- Completion of a 12,000 line-kilometre RESOLVE heli-borne magnetic-electromagnetic geophysical survey.
- Ground geophysical surveys over anomalies selected from the 2008, 2010 and 2011 airborne geophysical surveys.
- Indicator mineral sampling, ground geophysics and
prospecting; 24 of the 50 currently known kimberlites have been
discovered at surface by prospecting.
- Initiation of preparations for a multi-kimberlite 2012 bulk sampling program.
- Continuation of environmental baseline studies.
Field work has commenced at Chidliak with the construction of a third
exploration camp, named Aurora, located 42 kilometres north of the
Discovery Camp, and the initiation of ground and airborne geophysical
surveying. Drilling of lake-based targets in the northern portion of
the Project is scheduled to commence this week. Lake ice conditions are
expected to support on-ice drilling until at least mid-May. The first
two drilling locations will be the CH-17 kimberlite and anomaly 165,
located 200 metres south of CH-17 and three kilometres north of Aurora
Camp. In April and May, a second core drill and an RC rig will be
utilized to test targets in the central portion of Chidliak.
Peregrine geophysicists have recently selected 21 geophysical anomalies
over two hectares in size for follow-up this year, four of which are
interpreted to be greater than 4.5 hectares. Many of these anomalies
display magnetic/electromagnetic responses similar to the large CH-31
and CH-33 kimberlites. These anomalies will be evaluated by ground
geophysics this winter and priority targets will be drilled t