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Yet Another Canadian Diamond Mine in the Offing?
Bulk ORE sampling yields exciting recovery...
By: Administrator
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Jun 13 2005 12:00AM
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Reference: 2287  

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Chances for starting one more diamond mine in Canada have brightened with Ashton Mining of Canada Inc. reporting an exciting recovery of 457 carats of rough diamonds from a bulk sample of 664 tonnes, collected during 2004, according to reports reaching here.

Unlike the two diamond mines in operation in Canada, which are located in Northwest Territories of the country, this new discovery comes from the Quebec region. Ashton and its 50:50 join venture partner Soquem Inc., collected this sample from four out of nine Kimberlite bodies that constitute the Renard Cluster on the 200,000 hectare Foxtrot property.

The recovery of 457 carats of rough diamonds from the bulk sample of ore collected from these four Kimberlites Viz. No. 2; 3; 4 and 65 is much bigger than the preliminary expectation of about 300 carats.

This parcel of 457 carats of rough diamonds includes 25 stones bigger than one carat each; among them 8 stones exceed two carats each.

Some special features of these diamonds are that this collection includes clear colorless crystals weighing 4.3 carat, 2.9 carat, 2.7 carat and 2.3 carats as well as a 2.1 carat pale yellow crystal.

The 4.3 carat gem-quality, crystal is the largest found todate by Ashton & the largest diamond ever found in Quebec. These results confirm that the Renard Cluster of Kimberlites hosts a large quantity of rough stones, including gem quality diamonds.

Drilling for mineral by the end of 2004 indicates that Kimberlite Nos. 2, 3, 4 and 65 may be having a total quantity of 17.7 million tonnes of Kimberlite ore.

Now that the results from the 2004 bulk sample have been received, preliminary evaluation of the economic potential of the Renard Kimberlites is underway.

Valuation Awaited:

The first step in this direction will be the valuation of 457 carats of diamonds recovered from the bulk sample.

Further work will include additional drilling in order to have a better estimate of the diamond-bearing mineral in these Kimberlites, an estimation of mineral resource, preliminary engineering studies and collection of another larger bulk sample.

Further Drilling:

Pending the valuation of diamonds recovered from the bulk collected in 2004, further drilling in continuing particularly on Renard 2, 3, and 4. Samples from these Kimberlites have yielded the highest diamond content in the Renard Cluster. This drilling program is designed to better establish the contacts between the bodies and the country rock and to determine the extent of additional Kimberlite material peripheral to and beneath the current drill-indicated margins of these bodies.

Of the four Kimberlites drilled so far, Renard 3 has been found to be more prolific than the remaining three. The diamond content in the mineral is found to be as high as 123 carats per 100 tonnes of mineral in Renard 3. Then comes Renard 2 which has shown diamond content of 92 carats per 100 tonnes of the mineral. Renard 4 has yielderd, comparatively lower diamond content of 40 carats per 100 tonnes. Renard 64 has shown the lowest diamond content of 22 carats per 100 tones. It remains to be seen if these indicators change as a result of further drillings. Valuation is also very important in working out economic viability of the discovery.

Exploration Leaders:

The Quebec region apart, in several other parts of Canada also Ashton has been carrying on explorations for diamonds. The corporation is, therefore, considered to be one of the leaders among diamond explorers in Canada. Ashton has been instrumental in the discovery of three new Canadian diamond districts viz., Buffalo Head Hills in Alberta; Coronation Gulf in Nunavut and Foxtrot in Quebec. In all it has so far identified 69 Kimberlites. Of them 52 are said to be diamondiferous, though their diamond content remains yet to be determined by drilling out large samples from the ore-body.

While Ashton's current exploration programs focus primarily on the Foxtrot property in Quebec, it maintains a strong early-development stage properties including six in Nunavut; five in Northwest Territories; four in Alberta; three in Quebec and one in Manitoba.

Extensive Search:

Ashton is meanwhile conducting reconnaissance programs in other parts of Canada as well as acquire new mineral interests with diamond potential. Ashton's competitive advantages lie in its experience in diamond exploration and mining as also in its in-house laboratory facilities in North Vancouver BC which are dedicated exclusively to Ashton's exploration projects.

- M. D. Dewani

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