Peregrine Diamonds Ltd.
TSX : PGD

Peregrine Diamonds Ltd.

April 07, 2016 07:30 ET

Peregrine Reports 33% Increase in CH-6 Kimberlite Inferred Diamond Resource to 11.39 Million Carats

New High Grade Domain Identified

VANCOUVER, BRITISH COLUMBIA--(Marketwired - April 7, 2016) - Peregrine Diamonds Ltd. ("Peregrine" or "the Company") (TSX:PGD) is pleased to report the outcome of the 2015 Chidliak Resource Development Program for the CH-6 kimberlite pipe at the Company's 100 percent owned Chidliak Diamond Project, Nunavut, Canada. The Inferred Mineral Resource estimated for the upper 260 metres of the CH-6 kimberlite pipe has increased substantively:

  • Tonnage increased by 40 percent from 3.32 million to 4.64 million tonnes, and
  • Contained carats increased by 33 percent from 8.57 million to 11.39 million carats.

The revised resource includes a newly identified zone which currently is estimated to contain 3.15 million carats in 0.76 million tonnes, for an estimated grade of 4.16 carats per tonne. Additional tonnage classified as a Target for Further Exploration ("TFFE") of 2.34 to 3.75 million tonnes has also been identified to a depth of 380 metres below surface at CH-6.

Mr. Tom Peregoodoff, Peregrine's President and CEO said "When we planned the 2015 Resource Development Program for the CH-6 kimberlite, the challenge was to design a cost effective program that would make a material difference to the Chidliak project. With a simple two hole program and additional microdiamond sampling of existing core, we have exceeded the targeted resource expansions we initially envisaged. The 33 per cent uplift in the CH-6 diamond resource announced today should have a positive material impact on the outcome of the Preliminary Economic Assessment ("PEA"). Work continues on the maiden Inferred Mineral Resource for the CH-7 kimberlite and I look forward to its completion in early May and its incorporation into the PEA."

CH-6 INFERRED MINERAL RESOURCE UPDATE AND TFFE ESTIMATE

The Company announced an Inferred Mineral Resource of 8.57 million carats in 3.32 million tonnes for the CH-6 kimberlite on January 26, 2015. On February 26, 2014, the Company announced an average price per carat of US$213 for 1,013.5 carats of CH-6 diamonds as valued by WWW International Diamond Consultants Ltd ("WWW").

The 2015 Resource Development Program for CH-6 was comprised of the drilling and representative microdiamond sampling of two core holes totalling 520 metres in length, as well as additional microdiamond sampling from archived drill core. Results for 1,071.9 kg of microdiamond sampling were released on November 17, 2015 together with guidance that 1.0 to 1.2 million tonnes, or 2.5 to 3.1 million carats, could be added to the CH-6 resource base.

The updated Inferred Mineral Resource for the CH-6 kimberlite is provided in the following table.

CH-6 KIMBERLITE INFERRED MINERAL RESOURCE ESTIMATE*

Tonnes
(millions)
Grade
(carats per
tonne)
Carats
(millions)
Tonnage
Increase**
(%)
Carat
Increase**
(%)
CH-6 Total 4.64 2.45 11.39 40 33
* stated at 1.18 mm square-mesh sieve bottom cut-off and diamond recoveries as experienced in the 2010 and 2013 CH-6 bulk sampling programs. The updated CH-6 Inferred Resource extends from surface to an elevation of 420 metres above sea level, or approximately 260 metres depth below surface.
** relative to January 26, 2015 CH-6 Inferred Resource of 8.57 million carats in 3.32 million tonnes

The updated resource estimate for CH-6 was generated by Mineral Services Canada Inc. ("Mineral Services") based on a recently completed comprehensive review of geological attributes, microdiamond and bulk sampling results for the CH-6 kimberlite pipe. This work has confirmed the previous interpretation of the major geological units at CH-6 which remain recognized as the volumetrically dominant KIM-L and the subordinate KIM-C units, the latter unit which currently remains classified as TFFE. The data review by Mineral Services included a detailed spatial analysis of microdiamond size frequency and abundance which has delineated two distinct grade domains within KIM-L on the basis of the available extensive sample coverage. The estimated Mineral Resources for these individual domains are documented in the table below.

The volumetrically dominant domain, referred to now as "normal grade" KIM-L (KIM-L.NG) comprises approximately 84 per cent of the currently estimated KIM-L tonnage above 260 metres of depth and has an estimated global diamond grade of 2.12 carats per tonne based on integration of the results of the 2013 trench bulk sample (see January 16, 2014 new release) with the available extensive microdiamond sample coverage. The resource estimate factors in a minor amount of internal dilution and accounts for the variability in grade within the domain, as indicated by variations in microdiamond stone frequency.

The second domain defined by the Mineral Services' analysis is comprised of a continuous, near-vertical zone of higher grade KIM-L ("KIM-L.HG") that occupies the southern to southwestern segment of the CH-6 pipe. The KIM-L.HG domain has been defined entirely on the basis of microdiamond data and is characterised by a predominance of markedly higher microdiamond stone frequency values, as well as consistently higher bulk density relative to the KIM-L.NG domain. The spatial extent of this domain has been conservatively modeled as an irregular cylindrical feature estimated to contain 0.76 million tonnes of kimberlite that has an estimated global diamond grade of 4.16 carats per tonne containing an estimated 3.15 million carats. Further work is required to establish the geological basis for the observed increase in diamond content within the KIM-L.HG domain and its full tonnage potential.

CH-6 KIMBERLITE INFERRED MINERAL RESOURCE ESTIMATE* BY INTERPRETED GRADE DOMAIN

Domain Tonnes
(millions)
Grade
(carats per
tonne)
Carats
(millions)
Tonnage
Increase**
(%)
Carat
Increase**
(%)
CH-6 KIM-L.NG 3.88 2.12 8.24
CH-6 KIM-L.HG 0.76 4.16 3.15
CH-6 Total 4.64 2.45 11.39 40 33
* stated at 1.18 mm square-mesh sieve bottom cut-off and diamond recoveries as experienced in the 2010 and 2013 CH-6 bulk sampling programs. The updated CH-6 Inferred Resource extends from surface to an elevation of 420 metres above sea level, or approximately 260 metres depth below surface.
** relative to January 26, 2015 CH-6 Inferred Resource of 8.57 million carats in 3.32 million tonnes

NI 43-101 standards and Canadian Institute of Mining and Metallurgy guidelines stipulate that a Mineral Resource needs to have a "reasonable prospect of economic extraction". JDS Energy and Mining Inc. ("JDS") have created a first-order Whittle open pit to 260 metres depth based on the updated CH-6 Inferred Resource and have integrated appropriate mining and related costs, as well as the US$213 per carat average price for CH-6 diamonds. JDS concludes that the updated CH-6 resource satisfies the "reasonable prospect of economic extraction" criterion.

The 2015 Resource Development Program for CH-6 did not specifically address the KIM-C geological unit, nor any portion of the CH-6 kimberlite pipe deeper than 260 metres from surface, both of which currently remain classified as TFFE. The TFFE of the CH-6 kimberlite is now estimated to comprise 2.34 to 3.75 million tonnes of kimberlite to 380 metres depth based on previous work, and is presented in the table below. Insufficient exploration has been completed to delineate any portion of the CH-6 TFFE as a mineral resource and it is uncertain if further exploration will result in conversion of the TFFE to a mineral resource.

CH-6 KIMBERLITE TARGET FOR FURTHER EXPLORATION

Domain Depth
(m below surface)
Low-case Tonnes
(millions)
High-case Tonnes
(millions)
CH-6 KIM-L 260-380 1.27 2.40
CH-6 KIM-C 80-260 0.19 0.25
CH-6 KIM-C 260-380 0.88 1.09
CH-6 TFFE 2.34 3.75

CH-7 RESOURCE ESTIMATE

The Company and Mineral Services are progressing their work to build a robust geological model for the CH-7 kimberlite, with the aim to convert a significant portion of the 3.72 to 6.01 million tonne TFFE established for CH-7 to a maiden Inferred Mineral Resource. The work includes a detailed analysis similar to that completed for the CH-6 kimberlite. A second iteration of the geological model is currently being finalised and Peregrine expects that a maiden resource estimate for CH-7 will be available in early May 2016.

The 2014 and 2015 resource development program for the CH-7 kimberlite comprised 1,968.0 metres of core drilling in 11 holes, 584.8 metres of narrow-diameter reverse-circulation ("RC") drilling in 36 surficial delineation holes, 1,212.1 metres of large-diameter RC drilling in six holes which resulted in the extraction of 814 tonnes of kimberlite, and the collection of 3,585.2 kg of microdiamond samples together with requisite geological logging and data collection.

The CH-7 kimberlite, located approximately 15 kilometres southeast of CH-6, has a surface expression of approximately one hectare. Key results to date for the 2015 Resource Development Program include diamond grades for large diameter drill samples (stated at a 1.18 mm bottom cut off) ranging from 0.76 to 1.31 carats per tonne for the five major geological units in CH-7 (see January 12, 2016 news release), and a base model average price of US$114 per carat, ranging up to a high model average price of US$155 per carat for 735.75 carats valued by WWW (see March 8, 2016 news release).

QUALIFIED PERSONS

Dr. Tom Nowicki of Mineral Services Canada Inc. prepared the CH-6 Inferred Resource estimate and reviewed and verified the CH-6 tonnage estimates. Dr. Nowicki is a Professional Geologist and an independent, external Qualified Person and a consultant to Peregrine. Mr. Dino Pilotto of JDS Energy and Mining Inc. is a Professional Engineer and an independent, external Qualified Person that consults to Peregrine.

Dr. Nowicki and Mr. Pilotto have reviewed this release and approve of its contents.

ABOUT PEREGRINE DIAMONDS

Peregrine Diamonds is a TSX listed diamond exploration and development company with assets located in northern Canada and Botswana.

Peregrine Diamonds core asset is its 100 percent-owned, 513,249 hectare Chidliak project, located 120 kilometres from Iqaluit, the capital of Nunavut where 71 kimberlites have been discovered to date with eight being potentially economic. An Inferred Mineral Resource of 11.39 million carats in 4.64 million tonnes of kimberlite at an average grade of 2.45 carats per tonne has been defined for a portion of the CH-6 kimberlite. In addition, a Target for Further Exploration ("TFFE") of 2.34 to 3.75 million tonnes of kimberlite to a depth of 380 metres below surface has been identified at CH-6. An independent diamond valuation by WWW International Diamond Consultants, 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 (all using the February 24, 2014 price book). A TFFE of 3.72 to 6.01 million tonnes to a depth of 290 metres has been estimated for the CH-7 kimberlite. An 814.0 tonne drilled bulk sample representing four of five geological units in the CH-7 kimberlite pipe returned 717.65 carats of diamond at grades ranging from 0.76 to 1.31 carats per tonne. A 47.2 tonne surface mini-bulk sample from the remaining geological unit at CH-7 returned a grade of 1.00 carat per tonne. An independent diamond valuation by WWW International Diamond Consultants, of a 735.75 carat parcel of diamonds from CH-7 returned an average market price of US$100 per carat and modelled prices that ranged from a minimum of US$94 per carat to a high of US$155 per carat, with a base model price of US$114 per carat (all using the February 1, 2016 price book). A TFFE of 1.27 to 3.19 million tonnes to 250 metres depth has been estimated for the CH-44 kimberlite pipe. The TFFEs identified above are conceptual in nature and are not Mineral Resources. It is uncertain whether further exploration will result in any of these tonnages being delineated as Mineral Resources.

Peregrine Diamonds controls eleven diamond prospecting licenses in Botswana that cover 661,330 hectares.

Peregrine Exploration, a wholly owned subsidiary of Peregrine Diamonds, holds the 8,493 hectare Lac de Gras project in the Northwest Territories, located approximately 27 kilometres from the Diavik Diamond Mine. The nine hectare 72.1%-owned DO-27 kimberlite, located at Lac de Gras, hosts an Indicated Mineral Resource of 18.2 million carats of diamonds in 19.5 million tonnes of kimberlite at a grade of 0.94 carats per tonne and it is open at depth.

For information on data verification, exploration information and resource estimation procedures see the technical reports entitled, "2015 Technical Report for the Chidliak Project, 66° 21' 43" W, 64° 28' 26" N Baffin Region, Nunavut" dated February 23, 2015, and "Peregrine Diamonds Ltd. Lac de Gras Project Northwest Territories, Canada NI 43-101 Technical Report" dated July 15, 2014, both of which are available on SEDAR and the Company's website.

For further information, please visit www.pdiam.com.

FORWARD-LOOKING STATEMENTS

This news release contains forward-looking statements within the meaning of Canadian securities legislation. 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 proposed exploration and development programs, funding availability, anticipated exploration results, grade of diamonds and tonnage of material, resource estimates, anticipated diamond valuations 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 made based upon certain assumptions by the Company and other important factors that, if untrue, could cause the actual results, performances or achievements of the Company to be materially different from future results, performances or achievements expressed or implied by such statements. Such statements and information are based on numerous assumptions regarding present and future business strategies and the environment in which the Company will operate in the future, including the price of diamonds, anticipated costs and ability to achieve goals. Certain important factors that could cause actual results, performances or achievements to differ materially from those in the forward-looking statements include, but are not limited to: receipt of regulatory approvals; anticipated timelines for community consultations and the impact of those consultations on the regulatory approval process; market prices for rough diamonds and the potential impact on the Chidliak Project; and future exploration plans and objectives.

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 availability and cost of funds, timing and content of work programs, results of exploration activities, interpretation of drilling results and other geological data, risks relating to variations in the diamond grade and kimberlite lithologies; variations in rates of recovery and breakage; estimates of grade and quality of diamonds, variations in diamond valuations and future diamond prices; the state of world diamond markets, 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 risk and other risks involved in the diamond exploration and development 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
    Executive Chairman
    604-408-8880
    604 408-8881 (FAX)

    Peregrine Diamonds Ltd.
    Mr. Tom Peregoodoff
    President and CEO
    604-408-8880
    604 408-8881 (FAX)

    Peregrine Diamonds Ltd.
    Dr. Herman Grutter
    Vice President, Technical Services
    604-408-8880
    604 408-8881 (FAX)

    Peregrine Diamonds Ltd.
    Investor Relations
    604-408-8880
    604 408-8881 (FAX)
    investorrelations@pdiam.com
    www.pdiam.com