December 14, 2006
Vancouver, British Columbia - Thursday, December 14, 2006 - Peregrine
Diamonds Ltd. (“Peregrine”) (TSX:PGD) is pleased to announce that
land-based, large diameter, bulk sample drilling (“LDD”) on the North
East Lobe portion of the plus nine hectare, DO-27 kimberlite pipe, WO
Diamond Project, NWT, Canada, began on December 6, 2006, more than 60
days earlier than the last bulk sampling program. The first LDD drill
hole, DO27-NE-01, was completed yesterday to a planned depth of 98
metres with the majority of the hole drilled at 24 inch diameter. A
total of 45 sample bags of kimberlite were recovered (each sample bag
has a maximum rated capacity of 1.8 tonnes). The drill rig is currently
setting up on the next hole, DO27-NE-02, which is located 25 meters
south of DO27-NE-01. A second LDD rig is anticipated to begin drilling
on the North East Lobe in early January 2007.
This early start resulted from careful logistical planning, having the
two Encore Drilling, LDD rotary rigs on-site from last season, and the
decision to begin this third bulk sample on the land-based portion of
the main diamond-bearing pyroclastic unit of the North East Lobe of
DO-27. Peregrine is currently the only mid-tier diamond exploration
company properly positioned to commence bulk sampling in Canada’s North
so early in the season.
The primary focus of this bulk sampling program will be to significantly
add to the 510 carat parcel of diamonds already recovered by Peregrine.
In order to obtain a geologically meaningful average diamond valuation,
at least 3,000 carats will be required (see November 6, 2006 press
This early start to the bulk sampling program, coupled with a
significant increase in the project’s infrastructure, has set the stage
for an aggressive execution of this program.
Infrastructure improvements include:
• the staging of numerous pieces of ice making equipment, including
water trucks, bulldozers, front-end loaders and road graders, on-site at
the end of last season.
• the construction of Peregrine’s own ice airstrip capable of hosting
C-130 Hercules aircraft, anticipated to be completed and operational by
• the acquisition of a third large diameter drill rig: a dual-rotary,
Foremost DR-40 with approximately 250,000 ft/lbs of torque, which is
capable of setting large diameter casing (up to 40 inch) in soft,
unconsolidated overburden and kimberlite. Completion of the Hercules
capable ice airstrip will likely enable Peregrine to deliver the DR-40
to site several weeks earlier than an ice road based delivery.
• the DR-40 drilling rig is anticipated to facilitate the setting of 28
inch diameter casing, which should enable the extraction of kimberlite
using 24 inch diameter drill-holes, in contrast to the majority of holes
drilled last season which were 13 ¾ inch diameter. This 10 ¼ inch
increase in drill hole diameter should result in an approximately 300%
increase in the volume of kimberlite extracted per vertical metre of
• a variety of casing sizes, 28, 24, 20 and 16 inch diameter, will be
available for use onsite for the winter 2007 bulk sample (as opposed to
only 28 and 16 inch available for the last bulk sample). This will allow
Peregrine maximum drilling flexibility to meet the varied ground
conditions encountered during lake based drilling.
• Peregrine also plans to adopt a modified vertical extraction technique
in which controlled hole collapse will be used to extract the maximum
amount of kimberlite from each drill hole. This bulk sampling method of
controlled hole collapse is specifically designed to take advantage of
the DO-27 kimberlite’s natural tendency to expand and slough down the
Program highlights for this third bulk sample include:
• up to 8 LDD holes planned on the land-based North East Lobe portion of
the kimberlite, targeting the main pyroclastic unit in this area.
• these land-based holes are being drilled from ice pads with a minimum
of 24 inches of thickness, next to previously drilled, pilot core holes.
• up to 20 LDD holes planned over the central portion of the kimberlite,
targeting the main pyroclastic unit. These holes will be drilled on the
DO-27 lake ice, which must be built up to a thickness of at least 72
inches. Currently, the ice thickness is approximately 40 inches, with
ice-making activities ongoing and scheduled to continue into the New
Year. It is anticipated that sufficient ice thickness to begin this
drilling will be achieved by mid-January 2007, subject to weather.
• The budget for the Fall 2006/Winter 2007 LDD, bulk sampling programs only, total approximately $26.6 million.
An update on the various core drilling programs (Mid-zone between the
DO-18 and DO-27 kimberlites, Geotechnical and Exploration), preliminary
resource calculations, and the Preliminary Technical Assessment Report,
will be provided in the New Year.
Peregrine is a well-funded Canadian diamond exploration/development
company that is managed by experienced geoscientists. The company is
completing a Preliminary Technical A