Canadian junior miner Peregrine Diamonds has completed final preparations for the 2017 work program at its 100%-owned Chidliak Diamond Project near Iqaluit, Nunavut, Canada. Core drilling at the CH-6 pipe, slated to commence on July 5, will further delineate the kimberlite, with the objective of expanding the high grade CH-6 resource to a depth of 500 metres below surface. The current depth of the Inferred Resource in the 2016 Preliminary Economic Assessment (PEA) is 260 metres.
The current PEA of a Phase 1 Diamond Development indicates, "a robust, high margin, ten-year, open-pit mining project with very attractive economics ... An Inferred Mineral Resource of 11.39 million carats in 4.64 million tons of kimberlite at an average grade of 2.45 carats per ton has been defined for a portion of the CH-6 kimberlite." An independent diamond valuation of a 1,013 carat parcel of diamonds from CH-6 returned an average market price of US$213 per carat and modeled prices that range from a minimum of US$162 per carat to a high of US$236 per carat, with a base model price of US$188 per carat. Additionally, an Inferred Mineral Resource of 4.23 million carats in 4.99 million tons of kimberlite at an average grade of 0.85 carats per ton has been defined for a portion of the CH-7 kimberlite.
The Company expects the microdiamond analyses to be completed in the third quarter of 2017 and anticipates an updated resource estimate for CH-6 to be issued in the fourth quarter. If the resource at depths below 260 metres is of sufficient size and diamond grade, a new Preliminary Economic Assessment outlining a combined open-pit and underground mining operation for CH-6, in addition to an open-pit operation at CH-7, could be completed in the first quarter of 2018. The total cost for the work program is estimated at US$6.4 million (C$8.5 million).