Peregrine Diamonds’ CEO Mr. Eric Friedland, has reported that a diamond exploration program with a budget of $9.2 million has been approved for the 9,800 square kilometer Chidliak property in Nunavut, Canada.
Peregrine will operate the diamond exploration while BHP Billiton will provide the funding.
On November 24, 2008, BHP Billiton announced that it had elected to exercise its earn-in rights for the Chidliak diamond project 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 diamond exploration project. Upon successful completion of the earn-in, BHP Billiton will be offered a one-time election to earn an additional 7% interest by delivering a fully engineered, bankable feasibility study.
Three diamondiferous kimberlites, designated CH-1, CH-2, and CH-3, were discovered at surface by Peregrine Diamonds at Chidliak in 2008. In November, the company announced that a 2.28 ton sample collected from CH-1 yielded a diamond content of 1.56 carats per ton for diamonds larger than a 0.85 mm sieve size, and that a 2.01 carat, gem quality, octahedral diamond was recovered in the sample.
Approximately 170 kimberlite-type geophysical anomalies were identified during an airborne geophysical survey completed last year over less than 15% of the property.
The 2009 Chidliak exploration program has been designed to further evaluate the known kimberlites, to drill-test high priority kimberlite-type targets and to make the preparations for a substantial 2010 diamond exploration program by expanding the till sample coverage and by prospecting and geochemical sampling of at least 100 of the known geophysical anomalies.
Peregrine President, Brooke Clements, stated, "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 program that will likely include the testing of multiple new targets with at least two drills, the evaluation of additional kimberlites by a second phase of drilling and the collection of additional mini-bulk samples. The highest safety standards and respect for the environment and local communities will continue to be top priorities at the Chidliak diamond project."