April 6, 2006
April 6, 2006, Vancouver, B.C. - Peregrine Diamonds Ltd. (“Peregrine”)
(TSX-V: PGD) is pleased to provide a mid-winter/spring 2006 program
update on exploration activity at the DO-27 kimberlite, WO Diamond
Project, N.W.T., Canada.
RC DRILLING BULK SAMPLING
Peregrine contracted Encore Coring & Drilling Inc., Calgary, AB, in
September, 2005 to provide two reverse circulation (RC) drill rigs,
capable of drilling up to 24 inch diameter holes, for the winter/spring
2006 and 2007 bulk sampling programs at DO-27. The purpose of this two
year, Advanced Exploration/Evaluation Program, is to extract sufficient
carats from DO-27, estimated at 1000 to 3000 carats by Howard
Coopersmith, P.Geo., Peregrine’s independent technical advisor and
author of the 43-101 report on DO-27 dated December 6th, 2005, to
justify initiating a comprehensive pre-feasibility study.
Despite various delays and drilling challenges more specifically
described below, seven large diameter holes totaling 1352 metres have
been completed to date at DO-27 this winter with the deepest hole (L-06-02) penetrating to a depth of 402 metres and ending in kimberlite. The deepest large diameter hole drilled prior to L-06-02
was RC-1 (2005) which reached a depth of 209 metres. The interval below
this depth had not previously been sampled by large diameter drilling.
Hole L-06-02 was drilled 15 meters SW of a previous NQ (47mm) core
hole, (DDH-05-02), which reached a total depth of 460 meters last year, also ending in kimberlite. Micro-diamond results from DDH-05-02 suggest consistent diamond contents with depth at DO-27. (See press release dated January 25, 2006).
As of today, approximately 280 tonnes of kimberlite has been extracted
during the 2006 program for a total of over 430 tonnes of kimberlite
extracted from DO-27 to date by Peregrine through large diameter RC
drilling. The majority of the samples collected to date have already
been shipped to the Ekati(tm) Diamond Mine to await final macro-diamond
processing. Peregrine remains confident that it will be able to extract
the 1000 to 3000 carats as scheduled during the Advanced
The current ice thickness of the lake at DO-27 is 8-9 feet, and
Peregrine is hopeful that RC drilling will continue on ice until at
least the end of April, which should result in a significant addition to
the kimberlite tonnage recovered. Also, RC drilling is anticipated to
continue on the NE Lobe of DO-27 this summer (see below).
The opening of the main Tibbitt to Contwoyto ice road was delayed this
year and the road never reached full load capacity, having opened for a
period of only 42 days compared with 70 days in 2005. As a result, most
of the RC drilling equipment had to be broken down into much smaller and
lighter loads than normally required for transportation, causing
additional re-assembly times and other delays which postponed the
commencement of this year’s bulk sampling program.
The two rigs began setting casing on February 9, 2006 and March 10,
2006, respectively, with the objective of collecting a significantly
larger bulk sample to that collected during the winter of 2005. Both
rigs initially commenced setting 28 inch diameter casing in advance of
drilling 24 inch diameter holes. The inter-bedded muds and sands of the
overlying lake bottom sediments and the plasticine-like qualities of
the upper parts of the kimberlite, made setting the 28 inch diameter
casing time consuming and stressful on the mechanical components of the
rigs, leading to various mechanical failures and an unacceptable rate of
In addition, the setting of 28 inch casing resulted in an unacceptable
rate of ice degradation immediately surrounding the drill holes,
resulting in unsafe drilling conditions. Both rigs, therefore, have
switched to 16 inch diameter casing and 13.75 inch diameter drilling,
resulting in significantly improved production. The difference in
tonnes of kimberlite collected per metre of drilling in 24 inch diameter
versus 13.75 inch diameter is 0.61 tonnes versus 0.20 tonnes (assuming
an specific gravity of 2.1), a 67% reduction.
As of today, a total of nine core holes totaling 2119 meters have been
drilled into the DO-27 kimberlite this year. These holes range in depth
from 106 metres, (DDH-06-13), to 309 metres, (DDH-06-20).
All nine holes bottomed in kimberlite. Core drilling is continuing
and is anticipated to continue on ice until June after which core
drilling should continue on land based targets.
The diamond drilling suggests that the kimberlite contacts with the
surrounding granitic host rock are more steeply inclined than previously
envisaged, particularly on the SE edge of the Main Lobe and in the area
of the NE Lobe. Resource modelling is in progress and the recent
drilling is expected to have a significant positive impact on the
ultimate size of DO-27.
NE LOBE OF DO-27
Recent micro-diamond data from the NE Lobe of DO-27 suggest elevated
diamond contents. (See press release dated March 16, 2006). Subject to
the necessary permits, joint venture partners’ approva