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Posted by David
A rather vocal minority of Diamonds North (DDN) shareholders responded quite negatively to earlier criticisms of the company in regards to discussion on whether or not it was reading too much into rather high diamond counts from its Amaruk property.
Having attended the CEO’s (Mark Kolebaba) presentation to a sparse crowd at the 2008 Toronto Resource Investment Conference (Wake?) October 4th, it appears that DDN is not resting on its laurels and is attempting to make something of the encouraging results seen thus far from its arctic properties. Mr. Kolebaba gave a strong presentation outlining the importance of further diamond exploration in a market were the last significant deposit to start producing was Diavik in 2001 (no, Jericho does not count).
DDN’s main property, Amaruk, consists of ~2 million acres in Nunavut containing 29 kimberlite bodies. Many more geophysical targets remain to be drilled for kimberlite. Garnets from till samples in the region show strong G10 and G9 geochemical signatures (strong indicator minerals for peridotitic diamonds), with a minor eclogitic garnet component in terms of chromium and calcium contents.
One major criticism of the news release last March regarding the ~7 diamonds/kg result was that only 81.75 kg of rock from the Tuktu-1 kimberlite was sampled. Such a small sample is easily skewed to economic or uneconomic numbers by the addition or subtraction of a few carats, respectively. Mr. Kolebaba’s company is working to firm up the numbers for Amaruk by taking mini-bulk samples of 20 t from Tuktu-1, -2, and -3, and 15 t from the Qavvik body.
Larger sample sizes lower uncertainty and are especially important to diamond mining as even economic pipes have low absolute concentrations of diamond (well below 1% by weight). These samples have a higher chance of capturing economically viable macrodiamonds, rather than just the microdiamonds found do far. The mini-bulk sample is an important step as the Amaruk property moves from the reconnaissance stage towards the evaluation stage.
Interestingly, DDN’s share price has not been pounded down as badly as some other diamond juniors. It closed Friday at $0.40 down only 50% from its traditional support level at $0.80. Part of this may be due to loyal investor support, and the other part is that it has stumbled upon a potential base metals deposit also on the Amaruk property known as the Tunerq prospect. Rather than put it aside or option it out, DDN has decided to run with the prospect. Grades of up to 2.49 % Ni, 0.56% Cu, and 0.05% Co have been encountered in sulfides during drilling. An opportunistic and adaptable attitude by management should help keep the company’s head above water in a market that currently does not favour any sector, let alone diamonds.
Disclaimer: The author owns no shares of DDN. This article is based on the personal opinions and experience of the author. Please do your own due diligence when investing.