February 12, 2009
Mr. Eric Friedland, Chief Executive Officer, and Mr. Brooke Clements,
President of Peregrine Diamonds Ltd. (“Peregrine” or “the Company”)
(TSX:PGD) are pleased to report that a 2009 diamond exploration
programme with a budget of $9.2 million has been approved for the 9,800
square kilometre Chidliak property (“Chidliak” or “the Property”),
Baffin Island, Nunavut, Canada.
Peregrine will be the operator of the exploration programme which will be fully funded by BHP Billiton.
As announced on November 24, 2008, BHP Billiton has elected to exercise
its earn-in rights for Chidliak and under the terms of the earn-in
agreement must incur a total of $22.3 million dollars in exploration
expenditures in order to earn a 51% interest in the Property, with a
minimum commitment of $8.9 million in exploration expenditures or cash
payments in lieu to Peregrine. Upon successful completion of the
earn-in, BHP Billiton will have a one-time election to earn an
additional seven percent interest by delivering a fully engineered,
bankable feasibility study on the Property.
Three diamondiferous kimberlites, designated CH-1, CH-2, and CH-3, were
discovered at surface by Peregrine at Chidliak in 2008. On November 18,
2008, the Company announced that a 2.28 tonne sample collected from CH-1
returned a diamond content of 1.56 carats per tonne for diamonds larger
than a 0.85 mm sieve size, and that a 2.01 carat, gem quality,
octahedral diamond was recovered from the sample. Based on its
geophysical signature, the estimated surface expression of CH-1 is six
hectares. Approximately 170 kimberlite-type geophysical anomalies have
been identified from an airborne geophysical survey completed in 2008
over less than 15 percent of the Property. Many of the geophysical
anomalies are associated with kimberlite indicator mineral (“KIM”)
The 2009 Chidliak exploration program was carefully designed to further
evaluate the known kimberlites, to drill-test high priority
kimberlite-type targets and to prepare for a substantial 2010
exploration programme by expanding the till sample coverage and by
prospecting and geochemical sampling of at least 100 of the known
geophysical anomalies. Following are the key components of the 2009
- Drilling. High priority kimberlite-type geophysical targets will be
drill tested and approximately 500 metres of core drilling is planned
for each new kimberlite discovery. The CH-1 kimberlite will be evaluated
by core drilling and consideration will be given to drilling the CH-2
and CH-3 kimberlites this season.
- Mini-bulk sample. A mini-bulk sample of approximately 50 tonnes
will be collected by trenching from the CH-1 kimberlite, shipped to an
appropriate Canadian laboratory, and processed to recover
commercial-sized diamonds. The sample will be collected using a
Caterpillar(r) Skid Steer.
- Heavy mineral sampling. Approximately 1,200 till samples will
be collected and processed to extract KIMs. The data will be used to
prioritize exploration activities in 2010 including future drill
- Ground geophysics. Ground magnetic and/or ground
electromagnetic surveys will be completed on approximately 20
- Ground checking of anomalies. Over 100 geophysical anomalies
will be evaluated on the ground by prospecting and geochemical sampling.
- Camp construction. A second exploration camp capable of supporting 25 people will be constructed.
- Environmental baseline studies. Baseline environmental and
archaeological data will be collected and future access and
infrastructure needs will be assessed.
BHP Billiton has the right to modify the approved budget.
The Chidliak boundary is located only 60 kilometres from Iqaluit,
capital of Nunavut. Multiple access points to tidewater that connects to
the Atlantic Ocean are present within the Property. Fuel, other
consumables, construction materials and equipment were purchased and
shipped to Iqaluit in 2008 in preparation for the 2009 exploration
programme. As a result, mobilization to Chidliak is scheduled to begin
in April 2009, two months ahead of previous programmes.
Mr. Brooke Clements, President of Peregrine, stated “We have planned an
efficient diamond exploration programme that will involve up to 50
people, two helicopters, a core drill and excavation equipment. We are
confident that additional diamondiferous kimberlites will be discovered
and the process of evaluating the economic potential of the three
diamondiferous kimberlites already identified will begin with the
drilling and sampling of CH-1. All of this year’s work is intended to
set the stage for a 2010 exploration programme that will likely i