Peregrine Diamonds Ltd.
TSX : PGD

Peregrine Diamonds Ltd.

January 23, 2012 08:20 ET

Peregrine Announces 2012 Chidliak Program

VANCOUVER, BRITISH COLUMBIA--(Marketwire - Jan. 23, 2012) - Peregrine Diamonds Ltd. ("Peregrine" or "the Company") (TSX:PGD) has completed its analysis to determine the most efficient way to advance the 8,580 square kilometre Chidliak project ("Chidliak" or "the Project"), located 120 km from Iqaluit, Baffin Island, Nunavut, Canada. This review was prompted by the Company's opportunity to increase its interest in the Project to 100% by acquiring BHP Billiton's 51% interest, as announced on December 20, 2011. Planned work under the 2012 program will consist of three components: continued execution of bulk sample related activities, continued pre-bulk sample delineation drilling on key kimberlites, and ongoing exploration to discover more diamondiferous kimberlites.

Mr. Eric Friedland, CEO of Peregrine, commented, "Working with the local communities, we are committed to develop Baffin Island's first diamond mine as rapidly as possible in a safe and environmentally sensitive manner. The first significant step towards this goal is the initial bulk sampling of key kimberlites to obtain diamond parcels for valuation. Upon receipt of positive valuation results, we would advance the project into pre-feasibility by obtaining larger diamond parcels and by completing initial engineering work. In addition, as there are many geophysical anomalies and a number of unresolved kimberlitic indicator mineral dispersions at Chidliak that need to be fully investigated, we are confident that more kimberlites will be discovered this year."

REVERSE CIRCULATION ("RC") BULK SAMPLING

Preparations for bulk sampling began in mid-2011 with the selection of a RC drilling contractor, the commencement of the modification of the bulk sample RC drill rig, the procurement and mobilization of support equipment and fuel to Iqaluit, and the submission of applications for the land use permit and water license amendments necessary for certain components of the bulk sample program.

Completed

  • The procurement and mobilization of equipment including the Morooka MST3000VD, Caterpillar Challenger 835C, Sno-Cat BR 350, two Caterpillar wheeled loaders, fuel tanks, water tanks, drill casing and steel sleds for transporting equipment and the bulk sample along groomed trails is completed. The Morooka, Caterpillar and Sno-Cat are equipped with low ground pressure tracks. This equipment was delivered to Iqaluit by Sealift last October.
  • Fuel and bulk supplies were delivered to Iqaluit by Sealift.
  • The RC drill contract was awarded to Cooper Drilling LLC. of Monte Vista, Colorado. Modification of the specialized, bulk sample RC drill rig to suit Chidliak conditions is well advanced.
  • The contract to provide equipment and logistical support for the program was awarded to Nuna Logistics Ltd.

Images of the equipment can be viewed at the following link: www.pdiam.com/i/pdf/Chidliak389.pdf

In Progress

  • Amendments to Peregrine's existing land use permit and water license are required to conduct key components of the bulk sample program including utilization of certain access trails, drill rig mobilization and recovery and transportation of bulk sample material. The amendment applications were submitted by Peregrine in September, 2011 and are currently going through the Nunavut Impact Review Board screening process. Upon successful completion of this screening, Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada and the Nunavut Water Board are expected to issue the amendments this quarter.

Planned for Q1, 2012

  • Pending receipt of the land use permit amendments described above, the Morooka MST3000VD, Caterpillar Challenger 835C and Sno-Cat BR 350 will be mobilized overland to site and transportation routes between kimberlites and aircraft landing areas will be driven to ensure safe and efficient operations during bulk sampling.

Planned for Q2-Q3, 2012

  • Commissioning of the RC drill equipment, including the drilling of a large diameter hole to depths of over 200 metres to verify performance and reliability, will be followed by mobilization of the drill rig and associated equipment to Iqaluit by Sealift.

Planned for Q1, 2013 through 2014

  • Preparation of an ice-based airstrip and transportation of the bulk sample drill rig and associated equipment to site from Iqaluit by Hercules aircraft is scheduled for early 2013.
  • Bulk sample collection from key kimberlites is scheduled to commence in February 2013, and, subject to results, to continue through 2014.
  • Bulk samples will be transported to and processed at the Saskatchewan Research Council Geoanalytical Laboratories in Saskatoon with initial results anticipated during Q3, 2013.

PRE-BULK SAMPLE CORE DRILLING

In order to optimize the upcoming bulk sample program, additional core drilling will be conducted this summer on kimberlites CH-1, CH-6, CH-7 and CH-44. The results of the drilling will be used to determine the final design of the bulk sample programs and is an important step to ensure complex, multi-phase kimberlites, such CH-1, are properly understood before bulk sampling commences.

CONTINUED KIMBERLITE EXPLORATION

This year the Company will also conduct further exploration for additional kimberlites that have economic potential. The work will be concentrated in the Southern Focus Area, an area with an eight kilometre radius that hosts the following six kimberlites from which significant commercial-size diamonds have been recovered: CH-1, CH-6, CH-7, CH-31, CH-44 and CH-45. The presence of unexplained indicator mineral anomalies in and around the Southern Focus Area, in addition to numerous geophysical anomalies Project-wide, strongly suggest the presence of kimberlites that have yet to be discovered.

Planned 2012 work includes the following:

  • Efficient, helicopter-portable drill testing of high-priority geophysical targets identified from airborne and ground geophysics will commence in the summer, principally in the Southern Focus Area.
  • A 9,000 line-kilometre RESOLVE helicopter-borne magnetic-electromagnetic geophysical survey will be completed in the summer as well. The survey will be focussed over priority areas of the Project, including the Southern Focus Area, that have only been surveyed using the DIGHEM system. Peregrine believes the additional electromagnetic ("EM") resolution provided by the RESOLVE system will enable the targeting of non-magnetic, weak EM targets such as was the case with the four hectare CH-31 and five hectare CH-33 kimberlites.
  • Approximately 1,500 line-kilometres of ground geophysical surveys over 40 anomalies selected from previous airborne surveys will commence this March and is expected to be completed in six weeks. Additional ground geophysical surveys are planned for the summer to cover anomalies identified from the 2012 airborne geophysical survey.
  • Indicator mineral sampling, mapping and ground prospecting will commence in the summer. Prospecting has resulted in the discovery of 25 of the 59 kimberlites discovered at Chidliak to date, as many kimberlites on the Project are exposed at surface.

All necessary permits to conduct the exploration program portion of the 2012 work are in hand.

An update on the Chidliak program, including specific budgeting, will be provided in the first quarter.

Mr. Alan O'Connor, Professional Geologist, Peregrine's Chidliak Project Manager, is a Qualified Person under NI 43-101 and is responsible for the design and conduct of the programs carried out by the Company at Chidliak. Mr. O'Connor 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, future exploration and operating plans and completion of the acquisition of BHP Billiton's Chidliak interest) 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, operational and infrastructure risks, other risks involved in the diamond exploration business and completion of the acquisition of BHP Billiton's Chidliak interest. 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

    Peregrine Diamonds Ltd.
    Mr. Brooke Clements, President
    604-408-8880

    Peregrine Diamonds Ltd.
    Mr. Mike Westerlund, Vice President, Investor Relations and
    Corporate Communications
    604-408-8880
    604-408-8881 (FAX)
    investorrelations@pdiam.com
    www.pdiam.com