Diamond Exploration Rush Ramping Up in Saskatchewan

Mining and Exploration
27/07/2016 00:01

This week's news that Arctic Star Exploration Corp. has acquired a 100 percent interest in mineral claims comprising 40,831 hectares in the Athabasca Basin, Saskatchewan - the "Diamond Dunes Project" - only two months after De Beers announced a US$15.8 million (C$20.4 million) option with CanAlaska Uranium Ltd. for diamond exploration in the same region, prompted Mining.com to talk of a new Canada staking rush, "a long shot gamble ... Nonetheless, one worth committing big bucks to." As Mining.com explains, "What’s generated all the excitement is a government airborne geophysical survey that has revealed at least 75 buried 'kimberlite-like anomalies' ... that suggests the possible presence of diamond fields in a part of Canada that has historically been mostly overlooked in the hunt for diamonds."

There is a rich history of such exploration endeavors in northern Canada leading to massive discoveries and return on investment, such as the Ekati and Diavik diamond mines that were found in the NWT. But first, how it works: "Kimberlite pipes are the cone-shaped structures that can host rich diamond deposits, though most pipes contain few diamonds or none at all. What makes the discovery of the cluster of 75 kimberlite-like anomalies all the more intriguing is the presence only 100 kilometres to the south of a trail of kimberlite indicator minerals. This is potentially very significant. Here’s why: Many hidden sub-surface kimberlites have been found in the NWT by following trails of indicator minerals –- which are often found at or near surface, having been dragged long distances by ancient glaciers. Finding diamondiferous pipes this way is analogous to following a trail of crumbs to a loaf of bread."

As mentioned, Ekati and Diavik were discovered by other diamond exploration 'juniors' that were early-stage entrants in Canada’s first ever diamond rush and followed that trail of crumbs. "Their stories are the stuff of legend among speculative investors." There is a long, arduous road to travel, particularly for Arctic Star, before a new legend is written. "All eyes will therefore be on De Beers and CanAlaska, which could be drilling their joint-ventured project before the year’s end," writes mining.com. "If any of their 75 or so kimberlite targets turn out to be the real deal, then the ensuing entourage effect on proximal players like Arctic Star promises to light up their share prices too. Better still, De Beers or one or more of its rivals may yet beat very long odds to find kimberlites that are well-endowed with diamonds. In that case, diamond glory days reminiscent of the early 90s will be re-lived by a new generation of investors. And many of those who are early-stage, risk-friendly investors will enjoy the ride of lifetime."