Peregrine Diamonds Ltd.
TSX : PGD

Peregrine Diamonds Ltd.

December 03, 2009 17:39 ET

Peregrine Announces Microdiamond Results for CH-13 Through CH-16 Kimberlites and Commencement of 50 Tonne CH-1 Mini-Bulk Sample Processing for Diamonds

VANCOUVER, BRITISH COLUMBIA--(Marketwire - Dec. 3, 2009) - Peregrine Diamonds Ltd. ("Peregrine" or "the Company") (TSX:PGD) announces that the microdiamond results for the last four kimberlites, CH-13 through CH-16, discovered in 2009 on the 980,000 hectare Chidliak Project ("Chidliak" or "the Project") on Baffin Island, Nunavut, have now been received and three of the four kimberlites were found to be diamondiferous. In addition, processing to recover commercial-sized diamonds from the 50 tonne mini-bulk sample collected from the CH-1 kimberlite has commenced. The mini-bulk sample is being processed at the Saskatchewan Research Council Geoanalytical Laboratories ("the SRC") and final results are expected in January, 2010.

A 358.7 kilogram sample of drill core from CH-16 returned 66 diamonds, the two largest sitting on the +0.150 mm sieve. A 170.5 kilogram sample of drill core from CH-15 returned four diamonds, the largest sitting on the +0.300 mm sieve. A 129.5 kilogram sample of drill core from CH-13 returned six diamonds, the largest also sitting on the +0.300 mm sieve. A 174.2 kilogram surface sample of CH-14 contained no diamonds.

Fifteen of the 16 kimberlites discovered at Chidliak to date are diamondiferous and diamond counts in seven kimberlites indicate further work is required to assess their size, geology and diamond grade potential. Three of these kimberlites, CH-1, CH-6, and CH-7, already have diamond size frequency characteristics that are consistent with economic potential in arctic settings. The kimberlite and diamond discovery statistics for Chidliak compare favourably with those of the Ekati(TM) and Diavik(TM) diamond properties in the Northwest Territories of Canada when they were at a similar stage of exploration.

2009 PROGRAMME WRAP UP

Peregrine management is very encouraged by the results that have been generated thus far at Chidliak and the stage is now set for an ambitious 2010 exploration programme that will be focused on new discoveries and further drilling and sampling of kimberlites demonstrating economic potential. It is still early in the exploration cycle at Chidliak. The first kimberlite discovery was made on July 20, 2008 and, after just two months of drilling and prospecting in the summer of 2009, the Project already hosts 16 kimberlites, with more work required on seven of these. Some facts from the Ekati(TM) and Diavik(TM) properties in the Northwest Territories are a useful reference for evaluating Chidliak's potential to host an economic diamond deposit. The A-154 kimberlite was the first pipe in the Diavik(TM) mine plan yet it was the 27th kimberlite discovered on the property, the first 26 pipes being un-economic or barren of diamonds. There are currently approximately 70 kimberlites known on the Diavik(TM) property with just three of these in the current mine plan. There are 156 kimberlites known on the Ekati(TM) property and only eight are currently in the mine plan. These statistics illustrate the outstanding rate of discovery of pipes with economic potential at Chidliak and that much more exploration is required to realize the full potential of this new Canadian diamond district.

Results still pending from the 2009 Chidliak exploration programme include the CH-1 mini-bulk sample and kimberlite indicator mineral results for 1,273 till samples collected during the summer of 2009.

CH-1 KIMBERLITE MINI-BULK SAMPLE

As reported on November 18, 2008, a 2.28 tonne mini-bulk sample collected from the CH-1 kimberlite returned a diamond content of 1.56 carats per tonne for diamonds larger than the 0.85 mm sieve size with the largest diamond being a 2.01 carat gem. As reported on September 14 and October 21, 2009, a mini-bulk sample weighing approximately 50 tonnes of kimberlite was collected from an outcrop exposure at CH-1 which was then shipped by air to Iqaluit under strict chain of custody protocols. The sample was loaded onto two different ships bound for Quebec in locked and sealed seacans. Due to mechanical problems with one of the ships, approximately 85 percent of the mini-bulk sample arrived in Quebec City six weeks behind schedule. The entire sample arrived at the SRC on November 10, and processing of the sample has now commenced. Final results are expected in January, 2010.

The sample will be processed through the SRC dense media separation ("DMS") plant. Commercial-size diamonds (+0.85 mm or +1 DTC sieve sizes) will be recovered from the DMS concentrates using a dual-pass X-ray flow-sort with a grease table finish. Dr. Jennifer Pell, Peregrine's Chief Geoscientist, is the Company's Qualified Person under NI 43-101 for the processing and diamond recovery. Howard Coopersmith, a consultant to the diamond industry, is Peregrine's external Qualified Person for the processing of the sample and subsequent diamond recovery.

PREPARATION FOR 2010 EXPLORATION PROGRAMME

Peregrine has been appointed as operator of the 2010 exploration programme at Chidliak and the Company is currently working with BHP Billiton to finalize the details and budget. A more comprehensive description of the programme will be released in the near future.

The SRC is an independent laboratory that is accredited by the Standards Council of Canada to the ISO/IEC Guide 25 standard for diamond recovery by caustic fusion. The kimberlite samples were collected, sealed in secure containers and shipped to the SRC under strict chain of custody protocols supervised by senior Peregrine personnel.

Peregrine is the operator of the 2009 Chidliak exploration programme which is being fully funded by BHP Billiton. As announced on November 24, 2008, BHP Billiton has elected to exercise its earn-in rights for Chidliak 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 Chidliak.

Mr. Peter Holmes, P. Geo., Peregrine's Vice President, Exploration, is a Qualified Person under NI 43-101 and is responsible for the design and conduct of the programs carried out by the Company on the Chidliak property. Mr. Holmes has reviewed this release and approves of its contents.

Forward-Looking Statements: This news release contains forward-looking statements. All statements, other than statements of historical fact, that address activities, events or developments that the Company believes, expects or anticipates will or may occur in the future (including, without limitation, statements relating to the proposed exploration program, funding availability, anticipated exploration results, resource estimates, and future exploration and operating plans) are forward-looking statements. These forward-looking statements reflect the current expectations or beliefs of the Company based on information currently available to the Company. Forward-looking statements are subject to a number of risks and uncertainties that may cause the actual results of the Company to differ materially from those discussed in the forward-looking statements and, even if such actual results are realized or substantially realized, there can be no assurance that they will have the expected consequences to, or effects on, the Company. Factors that could cause actual results or events to differ materially from current expectations include, among other things, uncertainties relating to the availability and cost of funds, timing and content of work programs, results of exploration activities, interpretation of drilling results and other geological data, world diamond markets, future diamond prices, reliability of mineral property titles, changes to regulations affecting the Company's activities, delays in obtaining or failure to obtain required project approvals, any changing budget priorities of BHP Billiton, operational and infrastructure risks, and other risks involved in the diamond exploration business. Any forward-looking statement speaks only as of the date on which it is made and, except as may be required by applicable securities laws, the Company disclaims any intent or obligation to update any forward-looking statement, whether as a result of new information, future events or results or otherwise. Although the Company believes that the assumptions inherent in the forward-looking statements are reasonable, forward-looking statements are not guarantees of future performance and accordingly undue reliance should not be put on such statements due to their inherent uncertainty.

Contact Information

  • Peregrine Diamonds Ltd.
    Mr. Eric Friedland
    CEO
    604-408-8880
    or
    Peregrine Diamonds Ltd.
    Mr. Brooke Clements
    President
    604-408-8880
    or
    Peregrine Diamonds Ltd.
    Investor Relations
    604-408-8880
    604-408-8881 (FAX)
    investorrelations@pdiam.com
    www.pdiam.com