Category Archives: Canada

Kimberlite deposit in Nunavut Canada is far deeper than previously estimated

Peregrine Diamonds Ltd. (TSX:PGD) announced that the CH-6 kimberlite deposit at its Chidliak diamond project, located 120 kilometres northeast of Iqaluit, Nunavut, is twice as deep as it previously estimated.

“The 2017 resource expansion drill program at the CH-6 kimberlite has confirmed that the high-grade CH-6 kimberlite extends from surface to 540 metres below surface, an additional 280 metres below the 260-metre depth of the current CH-6 Inferred Resource announced on April 7, 2017,” the company said in a press release.

The Vancouver-based miner, who had its first kimberlite discovery at Chidliak in 2008, added that caustic fusion microdiamond results released from the 2017 drill program match well with pre-2017 microdiamond results for the KIM-L High Grade and the KIM-L Normal Grade kimberlite units. The KIM-L High Grade were estimated at 4.16 carats per tonne in the Inferred Resource, while the KIM-L Normal Grade were estimated at 2.12 carats per tonne.

These results, the junior mining company says, will form the basis of a revised CH-6 resource estimate whose expectation is that of extending the categorized resource base from a depth of 260 metres below surface to 540 metres below surface.

Peregrine sees potential for doubling the number of diamonds extracted from the site. In addition to this, the company’s President and Chief Executive Officer, Tom Peregoodoff, said that the expectations are high following the recovery of a very rare green diamond. “[The finding] bodes well for the presence of other rare, coloured diamonds that could have a significant impact on the overall average prices eventually received for diamonds recovered from the Chidliak project,” Peregoodoff said.

Henry Sapiecha

Lucara gets almost $18M for fragment of its massive ‘Lesedi La Rona’ diamond

Canada’s Lucara Diamond (TSX:LUC), the company that hit the jackpot in 2015 after finding the world’s second-largest diamond, just got $17.5 million for a piece that broke from that rock, the now historic 1,109-carat “Lesedi La Rona.”

To date, Lucara has sold 145 diamonds for more than $1 million each.The 373.7-carat diamond, sold during the Vancouver-based miner’s $54.8 million recent tender to luxury jeweller Graff Diamonds, was one of 15 large and high value rocks offered by the company.

Just like the 1,109-carat diamond it found in 2015, all the stones sold this week were mined at Lucara’s Karowe mine in Botswana, which has been yielding massive rocks as of late.

Last year, the miner sold one of those mammoths — the 813-carat “The Constellation” — for $63 million, setting a new record for a rough gem.

It wasn’t that lucky when it came to three-billion-year-old “Lesedi La Rona,” meaning “our light” in the Tswana language spoken in Botswana, as the rock failed to sell at a Sotheby’s auction in June last year.

This is the 373.72-carat rock, once part of the second largest gem quality diamond ever discovered. (Image courtesy of Graff Diamonds.)

The gem, second in size only to the Cullinan diamond in the British Crown jewels, was expected to go for at least $70 million. The highest bid, however, was around $61 million, leaving it in Lucara’s hands.

To date, the company has sold 145 diamonds for more than $1 million each, bringing in revenues of more than $528 million, its President and CEO William Lamb said in the statement.

Botswana, the focus of Lucara, is the world’s largest producer of diamonds and the trade has transformed it into a middle-income nation.

Henry Sapiecha

World’s largest new diamond mine starts commercial production

Gahcho Kué, owned by De Beers Canada and Mountain Province Diamonds, is now full steam ahead in production.

Gahcho Kué, co-owned by De Beers Canada and Mountain Province Diamonds, is located at Kennady Lake, about 280 km northeast of Yellowknife image

Canada’s Gahcho Kué mine, the world’s largest new diamond mine in the last 13 years, reached commercial production Tuesday, its owners De Beers Canada and Mountain Province Diamonds announced.

Located 280 kilometers northeast of Yellowknife, near the Arctic Circle, the mine is expected to produce around 54 million carats of rough diamonds over its 12-year lifetime.

Gahcho Kué was only the sixth diamond opened in Canada in the almost 19 years the country has been producing such gems.Production ramp-up at Gahcho Kué, a joint venture between De Beers Canada (51%) and Mountain Province Diamonds (49%), began in August — a month before the mine’s official opening.

Thursday’s announcement marks an important operational milestone and also comes slightly ahead of schedule, the partners said in a joint statement.

“Today marks a significant landmark for De Beers in Canada as Gahcho Kué becomes an important contributor to the group’s global production,” De Beers Group CEO Bruce Cleaver said in the statement.

The mine “secures Canada’s position as one of the world’s leading diamond producers,” added Patrick Evans, President and CEO of Mountain Province Diamonds.

It’s estimated that Gahcho Kué will contribute $5.2 billion to the territorial economy until 2028, according to a socio-economic impact report prepared by De Beers.

Another reason why the mine’s opening is important for Canada’s economy is the fact that two of the country’s major diamond operations — Diavik and Ekati — are approaching the end of their productive lives. Gahcho Kué, although smaller than those mines, is expected to offset the production drop-off.

The mine, estimated to be one of the world’s 10 biggest diamond mines, is the sixth precious rocks operation opened in Canada in the almost 19 years the country has been producing diamonds.


Henry Sapiecha

Mountain Province just found this massive diamond at Gahcho Kué in Canada

This 67.87-carat gem quality octahedron diamond is the largest of its kind recovered to date at the mine. (Image courtesy of Mountain Province Diamonds)

mountain-province-just-found-massive-diamond-at-gahcho-kue-67.87-carat gem quality octahedron diamond, image

Mountain Province Diamonds (TSX:MPV), which holds a 49% stake in Gahcho Kué, one of Canada’s newest diamond mine and the world’s largest of its kind in the last 13 years, has just found a massive gem at the operation.

The 67.87-carat gem quality octahedron diamond is the largest of its kind recovered to date at the mine.The company said the 67.87-carat gem quality octahedron rock, unearthed during production ramp-up, is the largest gem quality diamond recovered to date at Gahcho Kué, which is one of the world’s 10 biggest diamond mines.

The company’s President and CEO, Patrick Evans, said production ramp-up at the remote mine, which is also the world’s highest grade new diamond operation, is progressing well despite some recent disruptions caused by extremely cold conditions during December that impacted the mine’s conveyor systems. He added that Gahcho Kué was on track to achieve commercial production on schedule during the current quarter.

Situated almost 300 kilometres east of Yellowknife, in Canada’s Northwest Territories, the mine opened up in September last year and has so far provided a $341 million (Cdn$440 million) boost to the territories’ economy. It has also contributed a further $272 million (Cdn$350 million) to the rest of Canada, according to DeBeers, which holds a 51% stake in the mine.

Mountain Province also announced that its second diamonds sale of the year will take place in Antwerp, Belgium, from February 20 to March 1.

First blast at Gahcho Kué diamond mine image


Henry Sapiecha

World’s largest new diamond mine opens in Canada

The Gahcho Kue diamond mine image

The Gahcho Kue diamond mine – one of the largest new mines in the world – has officially opened in Canada’s North West Territories.

The open-pit mine is located near the Arctic Circle, 280 km northeast of the province’s capital Yellowknife.

De Beers officially opened it, with chief executive Bruce Cleaver telling AFP, “It’s the largest diamond mine brought into production in the last 13 years and it’s the biggest outside South Africa.”

The company owns a 51 per cent of the joint venture, with the remainder owned by Canada’s Mountain Province Diamonds.

Its name comes from the local indigenous Chipewyan term for “big rabbit”.

The site is mainly accessible by air, with trucks only able to access via ice roads for a short period of time in winter months. An estimated 530 workers will be employed, and flown in for two week rotations.

It will produce 54 million carats of rough diamonds during its 12-year life.

With this new mine – the sixth to open in Canada in the last 20 years – the country becomes the fifth largest diamonds producer in the world by volume, as well as the third by value, recording more than $1.5 billion a year in exports.

Cleaver indicated a medium to long term growth in the demand for jewellery, which will still support diamond growth, although production is in decline.

China, the US, Japan, and India are the largest diamond purchasers, buying more than 70 per cent of diamonds sold each year.


Production to begin at world’s largest new diamond mine

Mountain Province Diamonds has began ramping up its Gahcho Kué diamond mine in Canada’s Northwest Territories to commercial production, following its successful commissioning. 

The Gahcho Kué, a joint venture between Mountain Province Diamonds and De Beers Canada, is considered the world’s largest new diamond mine.

The project will begin commercial production in the first quarter of next year and produce an average of 4.5 million carats annually during its 12 year life.

First ore was produced on March 23 2016, with Mountain Province President and CEO Patrick Evans saying both the commissioning and ramp up activities was a “major achievement” for the joint venture.

During the ramp up commissioning phase, the site also produced two large gems; a 12.10 carat and 24.64 carat diamond.

Its first diamond sale is set to take place by the end of this year.

Henry Sapiecha

Who stole this $5 million diamond-encrusted gold eagle statue? Video,Pics & Story


Canadian Police are looking into the robbery of an 18-pound, solid-gold, diamond-encrusted eagle statue in British Columbia, worth about $5 million according to the statue’s owner.

The golden statue was supposed to be the centrepiece of a campaign launched in conjunction with a series of books and events to raise money for cancer research.The statue, called The Maltese Eagle, was supposed to be the centrepiece for “The World’s Greatest Treasure Hunt: Quest for the Golden Eagle,” a campaign launched in conjunction with a series of books and events to raise money for cancer research, owner Ron Shore, who operates a telecommunications company, told CNN.

The eagle had been on display for four days at the Art! Vancouver exhibit and was in transit to a secret vault when the theft occurred on Sunday night.

Shore said he mortgaged his house and used inheritance money and credit cards to finance the making of the eagle.

“Unfortunately what will probably happen is that all of the jewels will be pulled out of the head because it had basically a cape of diamonds,” sculptor Kevin Peters, who spent nearly four years creating the statue, told NewsTalk 770. “And it has three types of gold and will be probably melted down.”

But taking the jewells off would be difficult, and a novice would likely end up breaking some of the gems, David Ritter, president of the Canadian Jewellers Association, told News 1130.

5-million-diamond-encrusted-gold-eagle-statue-stolen image

One of the largest gems present in the statue was the Atocha Star, a 12-carat emerald that was recovered in 1985 from the Nuestra Señora de Atocha, a Spanish treasure galleon that sank in 1622. The Atocha Star is itself estimated to be worth at least $3 million.

This is not the first time the eagle has been targeted. In a 2010 interview, Shore told The Vancouver Sun that RCMP accompanied him and the eagle to an event because of concerns organized crime elements might be looking to steal it.


Henry Sapiecha


Rio uncovers large diamond as prices set for decline tinto rough diamond image

Rio Tinto has unveiled a 187.7 carat rough diamond, as miners predict a decline in rough diamond prices ahead.

The diamond, one of the largest ever discovered in Canada, has been called the Diavik Foxfire, and was uncovered at the Diavik mine just 220 kilometres south of the Arctic Circle.

The unveiling of the rough diamond comes as prices for the stones decline.

Rio Tinto Diamonds managing director, Jean-Marc Lieberherr, explained the reduction in demand from China coupled with a lack of available credit in the industry has wreaked havoc on the sector.

“There is a need for the rough prices to adjust to the economic value of the polished price and that trend is in motion at the moment,” Lieberherr told Bloomberg.

Prices for rough diamonds have fallen by nearly a fifth this year, and expected to continue falling for a sixth quarter.

However there is an expectation that this current situation will reverse mid-next year, as traders and cutters begin releasing supply.

“The polished pipeline is a little bit overloaded and it will probably take until about the middle of next year to come back to normal levels,” Lieberherr stated.

“The last 12 to 18 months have been tough for the industry.”

The larger producers, De Beers and Rio Tinto, have all lowered production in an effort to support prices, while Australian diamond magnates are facing financial difficulties in the low market.

Late last month the second largest single diamond ever – a 1111 carat stone – was uncovered.


Henry Sapiecha

Small, ancient diamonds reveal seawater key for precious gems formation

small-ancient-diamonds-reveal-seawater-key-for-precious-gems-formation image

An international team of researchers has revealed that seawater may have played an important role in formation of diamonds hundreds of kilometres underground.

In a paper published Thursday in the journal Nature, scientists from Canada, the U.S. and the U.K suggest diamonds form as a result of plate tectonics carrying seawater into deep parts of the earth.

The team came to such conclusion after they found microscopic, dirty diamonds from the Ekati mine in Canada’s Northwest Territories, home to rich deposits of high and low quality gems.

“Ugly little things”

The diamonds provided to the researchers by Dominion Diamonds aren’t fit for a ring by any stretch of the imagination — they’re far less than a millimetre wide and “fibrous” or cloudy.  Scattered throughout the crystal are droplets of fluid — millions of them, in some cases.

However, the tiny rocks were key to the study. “With the ringwoodite discovery, we showed there is a lot of water trapped in really deep parts of the Earth, which probably all came from recycling ocean water,” Graham Pearson, professor in the University of Alberta’s Department of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences and Canada Excellence Research Chair in Arctic Resources, said in a statement.

“This new study really highlights that process—it clearly demonstrates that ocean water in this case has been subducted via an old oceanic slab into a slightly shallower but still very deep part of the Earth. From there it has pumped that brine into the bottom of the root beneath the Northwest Territories, and it’s made the diamonds,” Pearson added.

small-ancient-diamonds image

Although high-quality gem diamonds are normally estimated to have been formed three billion to 3.5 billion years ago, these poor-quality, fluid-rich diamonds appear to be just a few hundred million years old—significantly younger in the Earth’s geological timeline.

One theory to explain this age difference is that the two types of diamonds are actually formed by similar processes, and then over time the fluid-rich stones transform into the gem diamonds. Pearson and his team plan to do further studies on the fluids found in these diamonds to test this model.


Henry Sapiecha

Saskatchewan diamonds are looking forward to the future

De Beers shaped today’s diamond market. They started in the U.S. back in the late 1930s.


De Beers wanted to expand its market (at the time De Beers controlled 90% of the global diamond market). Diamonds, the larger diamonds, had always symbolized wealth and status but how could De Beers market the smaller diamonds to the masses?

In 1938, De Beers hired Philadelphia ad agency N.W. Ayer. The agency set an ambitious goal, they set out to: “create a situation where almost every person pledging marriage feels compelled to acquire a diamond engagement ring.”

A U.S. promotional campaign was planned and it focused on telling every guy (and maybe even more important every girl) that he absolutely needed to give his special her a diamond ring (and diamond jewelry) to express his true love and lasting commitment, because, just like his love and commitment, ‘a diamond is forever.’

“The agency wanted to make it look like diamonds were everywhere, and they started by using celebrities in the media. “The big ones sell the little ones,” said Dorthy Digham, a publicist for De Beers at N.W. Ayer.” 

How Diamonds Became Forever, The New York Times

The “A Diamond is Forever” campaign was so successful the U.S. became, and still is at $9 billion a year, the world’s largest diamond jewelry market.

The same campaign was also a huge success in Japan with diamonds replacing pearls in the 1950s. Today China and India’s 2.6 billion people are targeted – because only diamonds can show her how you truly feel.

“If you look back 20 years, there was no diamond acquisition culture in China. But today in Beijing, Shanghai, and Guangzhou, there is an obvious launch pad. 40% of brides in those cities are getting diamond engagement rings. It was zero 15 years ago.” Gareth Penny, CEO DeBeers

The decade to come will be the years of the diamond. According to a Bain & Company report global rough-diamond demand in value terms should increase at a compound annual rate of 5.1%, to $26 billion by 2023.

“The appetite for high-quality diamonds in China and India is growing,” notes Gerhard Prinsloo, the author of the report.” In terms of market share, India and China will represent 30% by 2020, equal to that of the United States. Supply should only increase by 2.8% per year, leading to a structural shortage.”

Diamond demand, over the next decade or so, will be particularly driven by India and China due to a doubling of the middle class in these countries (of the two China has the fastest growing demand, jumping to a share of about 15 percent of the world’s diamond market from less than three percent in 2003).

There’s no shortage of future markets – it won’t be long before one out of every four people on the planet is going to be an African. They don’t know it yet but there’s diamond jewelry in most of their futures. 

Current diamond demand is 175 million carats, by 2020 demand is expected to reach 247 million carats.

Two new diamond mines are expected to start production in Canada over the next few years – Gahcho Kué and Renard.

Dominion Diamond’s Ekati mine will increase production by starting to mine the Misery pipe.

Globally there are three large mines scheduled to start operations within the next four years: Lace, Botuobinskaya and Bunder. The last major mine discovery came a decade ago in India, at Rio Tinto’s yet to be completed Bunder project.

LUKoil’s Grib mine started production this earlier this year and Alrosa’s Karpinskogo mine started production in October.

Some of the largest and most important mines in the world are running out of diamonds to mine – Orapa and Jwaneng (Botswana) have less than 15 years of production left at current parameters. Orapa and Jwaneng are the largest diamond mines in terms of total dollar value produced.

The alluvial Marange diamond fields (Zimbabwe – 13% of global rough supply in 2013) are expected to produce eight million carats of diamonds in 2014. Mining is transitioning from easily accessible loose surface gravel to hard conglomerate rock. Most miners are not willing to make the necessary investment at current rough diamond prices. Conglomerate rock grades are 0.4-0.5 carats per tonne while surface grades were 3.75 cpt.

Marange is the largest producing project in the world in terms of total carats produced. It is third in terms of total dollar value after Botwana’s Orapa and Jwaneng mines.

Pikoo Kimberlite Field

Let’s take a look at what might well be the world’s newest emerging diamond district.

Stornoway Diamond Corp.’s (TSX – SWY) regional exploration programs were intended to test the diamond potential of the Sask craton in north-central Saskatchewan.

Exploration work included KIM sampling programs, an airborne geophysical survey (to detect magnetic differences on the ground), prospecting and geophysical anomaly checking – ground truthing of targets.

Kimberlite indicator mineral (KIM) sampling consists of digging a hole and taking up to 20 kg of glacial till – dirt – and sending it to a laboratory for the recovery and analysis of indicator minerals – if any.

Assortment of kimberlitic indicator minerals including purple pyrope, red, orange and pink pyrope garnets, chromian diopside, picroilmenite and chromite.

Indicator minerals such as pyrope garnets, chromites, and ilmenites are used as kimberlite tracers because these KIMs are found in the same place diamonds form, deep beneath the earth’s surface in the diamond stability field.

Kimberlite magma comes up from below the diamond stability field and takes indicator minerals, and hopefully diamonds, all the way to the Earth’s surface…

“Kimberlite, a variety of ultramafic volcanic and sub-volcanic rock, is the dominant source of diamonds worldwide. It is widely accepted that the majority of diamonds are not formed within the kimberlite and much evidence points towards an ancient origin for most diamond in the deep lithospheric keels of Archaean cratons. The kimberlites, therefore, are transporting agents that ‘‘sample’’ deep, occasionally diamond-bearing, mantle material and rapidly convey it to surface.” DIAMONDS AND ASSOCIATED HEAVY MINERALS IN KIMBERLITE: A REVIEW OF KEY CONCEPTS AND APPLICATIONS TOM E. NOWICKI, RORY O. MOORE, JOHN J. GURNEY AND MIKE C. BAUMGARTNER

Glaciers smear the visually distinctive, dense and resistant to weathering indicator minerals across the surface in a fan shaped pattern called the indicator train. The train narrows back to a source (>).

The terms up ice or down ice simply refers to where you are in relation to a kimberlite source. Take a look at the next map, find Pelican Narrows and Deschambault Lake. The glaciers came in from the north east heading south west. Ice direction would be from Pelican Narrows towards Deschambault Lake. If you found a kimberlite in the middle of the two villages Pelican Lake would be up ice, Deschambauly Lake down ice.

The Pikoo claims were staked by Stornoway, in February and March of 2011, based on their regional test results.

The Pikoo claim block was optioned to North Arrow Minerals TSX.V – NAR.

North Arrow focused on much tighter spaced till sampling than what Stornoway had done with their regional sampling. Two distinct indicator trains, the North Pikoo train and the South Pikoo train were found.

Both the North and South Pikoo trains were drill-tested in July of 2013. The 2,000 meter program resulted in the discovery of a new diamondiferous kimberlite field.

In the North Pikoo area, five drill holes tested an east-west trending target over a 1.1 km strike length. The drill holes encountered between one and six individual kimberlite dykes ranging from 3 cm to 59 cm in width, interpreted to be vertical to steeply south dipping. Surface anomalies suggest the dyke system extends over a significantly greater strike length than tested by the five hole drill program.

The most significant discovery might of been in the South Pikoo area.

The PK150 kimberlite dyke is a roughly 15 meter wide almost vertical body intersected over a 75 m strike length (3 holes spaced 35 m apart) and is currently open to depth and along strike. Since the indicator mineral trains are a couple of kilometers wide a longer strike length might be established.

According to John Kaiser of The Bottom Fishing Report:

“The kimberlite is comprised of dark grey hypabyssal kimberlite containing abundant olivine as well as common ilmenite and orange to purple garnets and less common chrome diopside.

The kimberlite is also riddled with mantle nodules up to 10 cm in diameter suggesting that the kimberlite magma may have entrained a good payload from the diamond stability field… the micro diamond results are well distributed through the 3-4 sample batches processed for each of the three holes, ruling out the risk of a “nugget effect” from the lucky presence of a particularly rich mantle nodule.”

A 209.7 kg sample of drill core from the kimberlite returned 745 diamonds larger than the 0.106 mm sieve size, including 23 diamonds larger than the 0.85 mm sieve size – considered the cut-off for commercial stones.

The total weight of the +0.85 mm diamonds recovered from the sample was 0.2815 carats, for a total recovery sample grade of 1.34 carats per tonne for stones over +0.85 mm.

Recovered diamonds have similar, high quality characteristics across all size fractions. Over 95% of the diamonds are described as intact, white octahedrons and aggregates.

The large project area hosts additional kimberlite targets and numerous anomalous KIM samples outside of the initial areas of interest (North Pikoo and South Pikoo trains). These areas were more densely till sampled in June and September 2014.

Preliminary results have been received from approximately half of the program samples and have defined new kimberlite indicator mineral (KIM) trains within the property. These KIM trains are separate and discrete from the North and South Pikoo KIM trains.

A winter drill program commencing in February 2015 is being planned to test as many as nine new targets at the heads of these trains as well as some of the untested lake bound and land based targets related to the North and South Pikoo trains. An application was submitted to the Saskatchewan Environment on June 9, 2014 to drill up to 30 drill holes.


The Pikoo Diamond Project is a joint venture (JV) between North Arrow Minerals (80%) and and Stornoway Diamond Corp. (20%).

Stornoway has exercised its right to participate in the Pikoo East option agreement between North Arrow (70%) and Canadian International Minerals TSX.V – CIN (30%). The Pikoo East properties comprise 5 claims totaling 3,447 hectares.

The A group directly adjoins North Arrow/Stornoway’s Pikoo property, and the B group lies approximately 7 km northeast of Pikoo’s northern boundary.

Till samples (black blocks on above left map) have been collected on the Pikoo East properties under the option agreement. The samples have been submitted for kimberlite indicator mineral (KIM) processing. Results are expected in early 2015.

Stornoway has also exercised its right to participate in the Orchid property agreement between North Arrow (70%) and Eagle Plains Resources TSX.V – EPL (30%).

Staking Rush

In June of 2013, North Arrow announced they drilled kimberlite at Pikoo.

In November, NAR made headlines by announcing it had high microdiamond counts from the PK 150 kimberlite dyke. The high diamond counts demonstrated the potential for a coarse diamond size distribution (larger diamonds might be found) and established Pikoo, and the northern Sask Craton, as Canada’s new diamond district.

Of course a junior resource company staking rush ensued. Click on the map for a larger image.

We know what North Arrow and Stornoway are up to. A few other companies have been quietly working away or entering the play via land acquisitions.


Alto Ventures TSX.V – ATV collected 325 till samples on its 60% owned contiguous to Pikoo properties. Results are expected in December.

Athabasca Nuclear Corp. TSX.V – ASC has just acquired the right to earn an 80% interest in the Prongua Lake diamond project. The Project encompasses 16 mineral claims totaling in excess of 9,270 acres and is located up ice to the north, east, and northeast of North Arrow and Stornoway’s Pikoo project. A number of early-stage geophysical targets have been identified.

Copper Reef Mining TSX.V – CZC completed a small ground magnetic survey and collected an unknown number of till samples on its properties.

Gem Oil Inc., a private company, has done an enormous amount of work. A report is expected sometime in the new year.

Strike Diamond collected 118 till  samples (the majority up ice from Pikoo) on its 80% owned properties. Results from SRK’s property are expected in December/January.


Above, to the left, you can see the arrow pointing to several small subtle circular magnetic lows and highs. These are kimberlite targets. To the left of these kimberlite targets is the western border, in pink, of North Arrows Pikoo claim blocks.

On the map to the right the arrows point to black dots representing where Strike Diamonds took till samples for indicator mineral processing.


Demand for diamonds is not going to fade away, diamonds are a part of our western cultural heritage, and an established and growing eastern one as well. De Beers created value. They packaged it in an acceptable way and delivered it to customers. Diamonds – currently a $72 billion a year industry thanks largely to a De Beers marketing campaign that started in the late ‘30s – are a girl’s best friend.

They may also be a BFF to investors looking for a safe haven from market storms.

Mined diamond supply is not going to be able to keep up with increasing demand – production growth will be limited as older mines become exhausted and production is scaled back, new production is not expected to fill the gap.

There’s close to 800 till samples from Canada’s newest diamond play in the lab for indicator mineral processing.

It just might be a very Merry Christmas and extremely happy New Year for a few diamond focused resource juniors, and their shareholders, in the North Sask Craton Diamond Play.

Saskatchewan diamonds might thrill again and they should be on every investors radar screens.


Demand for diamonds is not going to fade away, diamonds are a part of our western cultural heritage, and an established and growing eastern one as well. De Beers created value. They packaged it in an acceptable way and delivered it to customers. Diamonds – currently a $72 billion a year industry thanks largely to a De Beers marketing campaign that started in the late ‘30s – are a girl’s best friend.

They may also be a BFF to investors looking for a safe haven from market storms.

Mined diamond supply is not going to be able to keep up with increasing demand – production growth will be limited as older mines become exhausted and production is scaled back, new production is not expected to fill the gap.

There’s close to 800 till samples from Canada’s newest diamond play in the lab for indicator mineral processing.

It just might be a very Merry Christmas and extremely happy New Year for a few diamond focused resource juniors, and their shareholders, in the North Sask Craton Diamond Play.

Saskatchewan diamonds might thrill again and they should be on every investors radar screens.

Richard lives with his family on a 160 acre ranch in northern British Columbia. He invests in the resource and biotechnology/pharmaceutical sectors and is the owner of His articles have been published on over 400 websites.

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Legal Notice / Disclaimer

This document is not and should not be construed as an offer to sell or the solicitation of an offer to purchase or subscribe for any investment.

Richard Mills has based this document on information obtained from sources he believes to be reliable but which has not been independently verified.

Richard Mills makes no guarantee, representation or warranty and accepts no responsibility or liability as to its accuracy or completeness. Expressions of opinion are those of Richard Mills only and are subject to change without notice. Richard Mills assumes no warranty, liability or guarantee for the current relevance, correctness or completeness of any information provided within this Report and will not be held liable for the consequence of reliance upon any opinion or statement contained herein or any omission.

Henry Sapiecha


New wave of diamond fever sweeps Canada’s Northwest Territories

The famous Northern Lights are definitively not the only attraction in Canada’s Northwest Territories image

The famous Northern Lights are definitively not the only attraction in Canada’s Northwest Territories

SouthernEra Resources, which headed up the exploration team, reported 226 diamonds in a 581-kilogram sample including 62 macro diamonds.

The property also hosts four additional kimberlite indicator mineral trains whose kimberlite sources have yet to be identified, according to the company.

northwest-territory canada map for diamonds image

Diamond deposits, in the words of one senior geologist, are like pigeons. Where you find one, you’re likely to find an entire flock.

That’s the guiding logic behind a new wave of diamond mine development and claim staking in the Slave Craton in Northwest Territories. The NWT already serves as host to some of the world’s richest diamond mines, starting with Ekati and Diavik, followed by Snap Lake, all in the central corridor of the Slave Craton.

Next to follow is the Gahcho Kue Diamond Project southeast of the prolific Ekati and Diavik diamond mines. When it begins production in 2016, Gahcho Kue is reputed to become one of the largest and richest new diamond mines in the world. This $700 million project has a combined probable mineral reserve estimated at 55.5 million contained carats. De Beers Canada owns 51 per cent of Gahcho Kue and is the operator of the proposed mine. Mountain Province Diamonds, which discovered the Gahcho Kue diamond resource, owns 49 per cent.

Next to Gahcho Kue is the Kennady North Project with four confirmed diamond pipes. Two of the pipes returned diamond sample grades two to three times greater per tonne than Gahcho Kue, as reported by the company.

Circling in the vicinity of Gahcho Kue are projects led by successful veterans of the original 1990’s Canadian diamond rush: Randy Turner, CEO of Canterra Minerals; Buddy Doyle, exploration director and vice-president of Margaret Lake; and Patrick Evans, president and CEO of Kennady Diamonds.

Turner discovered the Snap Lake diamond mine. Evans led SouthernEra Resources when it performed much of the foundational geological research in the Slave Craton area two decades ago. Doyle led the team that discovered Diavik. He also was involved in exploration at one of two properties in the area acquired this year by Prima Diamond Corp. (PMD.V).

In mineral exploration, “closeology” — proximity to a mineral resource — can mean a lot, or a little. For a gold deposit, it’s usually irrelevant. For diamonds it’s a whole different story.

“The best place to seek a high-grade diamond deposit is close to one that has already been identified,” explains Dr. Roger Morton, professor emeritus in the Department of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences at University of Alberta.

Prima Diamond Corp. — a comparative newcomer to the diamond exploration business — won the staking rush to acquire the highly prized Munn Lake property north of Gahcho Kue. Its Godspeed Lake property is immediately adjacent to Gahcho Kue on the south and has barely been explored.

“Diamonds tend to be like pigeons. They go around in flocks,” Morton says, pointing to Gahcho Kue as the spark for surging interest in the area. “In the Munn Lake area, for example, there is a kimberlite which is the host rock for diamonds.”

Interest in the southern Slave Craton took another jump this summer when tonnage estimates in Kennady’s Kelvin-Faraday kimberlite corridor increased by 30 per cent, to 10 million tonnes.

With its two properties, Prima is well positioned to take advantage of the excitement. The 14,000-hectare Munn Lake is 40 kilometres northwest of Gahcho Kue and 40 km east of the Snap Lake diamond mine. It has been the site of $6 million worth of exploration, leading to the discovery more than a decade ago of a diamondiferous kimberlite, and huge kimberlite boulders resting at surface some as large as 25 meters in diameter.


Jody Dahrouge, president of Dahrouge Geological Consulting, staked the properties for Prima.

“Our first read of the Munn Lake kimberlite is that it’s a couple-of-metres-wide dike, similar to the Snap Lake Diamond mine,” Dahrouge explains. “Then there are a few boulders sitting down-ice that are 25 metres in diameter. How can you squeeze a 25-metre-wide boulder from a two-metre-wide body? It seems to indicate another kimberlite source bigger than the already identified Munn Lake Sill. It might be from a blow, it might be from a pipe located elsewhere.”

Dahrouge notes that at Godspeed, “huge swaths of this property have never seen a sample, particularly the southern half. The northern half, the area closest to Gahcho Kue, has really seen very limited sampling. So it’s an unexplored jewel, yet to be cracked, in the middle of a kimberlite cluster, which is fortunate for us.”

“Diamond exploration is all about closeology and we are in a great area code,” Prima President and CEO Robert Bick comments. “Not only is Gahcho Kue a world class diamond resource but within a circumference of 100 kilometres the area is dotted with diamondiferous kimberlites.”

Bick noted that the market for diamonds, unlike that for gold and base metal commodities, remains strong. Globally, production has dropped 26 per cent compared to 2005, and newly affluent members of the middle class in China, India and Indonesia are helping to push year-over-year growth in demand for diamonds by 5.1 per cent compounded annually.

One advantage that Prima has over SouthernEra is the advances in geological survey technology over the last 15 years. Godspeed is considered an excellent exploration candidate for using airborne gravity surveys.

Air gravity gradiometry studies would confirm and generate additional targets for future drilling on both Munn and Godspeed Lake.

Neil McCallum, a project geologist with Dahrouge, uses words such as “straightforward” and “simple” to describe the opportunity for Prima.

“The closeology is an important consideration for Godspeed, considering its proximity to Gahcho Kue,” McCallum says. “As for Munn Lake, we’ve got diamondiferous kimberlites and boulders and really nice looking targets based on indicator sampling. Prima has the right real estate in a prolific area. This is clearly a very prospective diamond play.”

Henry Sapiecha

pink diamonds line image