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A selection of +0.85 mm diamonds from the PK150 kimberlite, Pikoo Project, SK

North Arrow finds Diamonds… and Hopefully a Little Focus

With 13 projects on the go, North Arrow has it’s hand in a lot of cookie jars and perhaps lacks focus. Diamond projects require a lot of time and resources so North Arrow is probably hoping that Stornoway will exercise it’s buy back and inject them with some cash.

Disclaimer: This is an editorial review of a public press release and may include opinions or points of view that may not be shared by the owners of geologyforinvestors.com or the companies mentioned in the release. The editorial comments are highlighted so as to be easily separated from the release text and portions of the release not affecting this review may be deleted.  Please view the full release here.

VANCOUVER, BRITISH COLUMBIA–(Marketwired – Nov. 5, 2013) – North Arrow Minerals Inc. (TSX VENTURE:NAR) (“North Arrow”) is pleased to announce that high microdiamond counts, demonstrating the potential for a coarse diamond size distribution, have been returned from the PK150 kimberlite at Pikoo, a new kimberlite district located in central eastern Saskatchewan that was discovered by North Arrow earlier this year.

North Arrow’s Pikoo diamond prospect is located in northern Saskatchewan, Canada about 100 km east of Flin Flon, Manitoba. The property was staked by Stornoway Diamonds in 2011 based on a regional indicator mineral survey and was optioned by North Arrow. The close proximity of this project to civilization (compared to some of the Arctic diamond projects) and existing mining communities makes it an interesting diamond project. We’ve included a location map below.
Location of the Pikoo Kimberlite District

Location of the Pikoo Kimberlite District

Highlights of this announcement include:

  • 209.7 kg sample of drill core from the PK150 kimberlite has returned 745 diamonds larger than the 0.106 mm sieve size, including 23 diamonds larger than the 0.85 mmsieve size;
  • Total weight of the +0.85 mm diamonds recovered from the sample is 0.2815 carats;
  • Over 95% of the diamonds are described as intact, white octahedrons and aggregates.

The PK150 caustic fusion results are summarized in the following table.

Sample
Weight
Dry Kg
Number of Diamonds per Sieve Size (mm Square Mesh Sieve) Total
Carats
+0.85mm
+0.106
-0.150
+0.150
-0.212
+0.212
-0.300
+0.300
-0.425
+0.425
-0.600
+0.600
-0.850
+0.850
-1.18
+1.18
-1.70
+1.70
-2.36
Total
Stones
209.7 392 199 65 27 19 20 21 1 1 745 0.2815

 

The caustic fusion process is used for processing small samples (<500kg) of kimberlite material. In this process the soft kimberlite rock is dissolved in a strong caustic soda solution leaving only the harder minerals including diamonds. The diamonds are removed using a sieve and sorted based on size. Since the sample size is small, the diamonds recovered using this method are generally quite small, measuring from 0.10 mm up to 1.7 mm. We’ve included a photo of some of the recovered diamonds below.
A selection of +0.85 mm diamonds from the PK150 kimberlite, Pikoo Project, SK

A selection of +0.85 mm diamonds from the PK150 kimberlite, Pikoo Project, SK

Ken Armstrong, President and CEO of North Arrow, stated, “To recover such relatively high counts of +0.85 mm diamonds from the first kimberlite discovered at Pikoo is an exceptional result and establishes Pikoo and the northern Sask Craton as a new diamond district in Canada. PK150 was discovered as part of a short, 10 hole program completed earlier this year, and many priority targets remain on the 33,000+ ha property. One of the key benefits for the project is its location close to transportation and power infrastructure, lying within ten kilometres of Saskatchewan Highway 911.”

The PK150 kimberlite was discovered during a 2,002 m drilling program completed in July 2013 (please see North Arrow news release #13-13 dated August 7, 2013 for details). This drilling program and related diamond testwork is being funded by North Arrow as part of an option agreement with Stornoway Diamond Corporation (TSX:SWY) under which North Arrow can earn an 80% interest in the Pikoo Project. PK150 was tested by three drill holes and is interpreted as a 10 to 15 m wide, near vertical body, intersected over a 75 m strike length and it is currently open to depth and along strike. The kimberlite is comprised of dark grey hypabyssal kimberlite containing abundant olivine as well as common ilmenite and orange to purple garnets and less common chrome diopside. Internal country rock dilution is estimated as less than 8% and mantle nodules ranging up to 10 cm are common.

Kimberlite pipes are the remains of deep-sourced volcanic systems. A “hypabyssal kimberlite” is subvolcanic in nature, meaning that it was not a volcanic rock, but rather an igneous rock probably associated with a nearby volcanic system.

Recovered diamonds have similar, high quality characteristics across all size fractions, with over 95% described as intact white octahedrons and aggregates with lesser macles.

“Macles” are twinned crystals. You can see the twinning in the photograph above. They are describing the diamonds as appearing to be of high-quality.

A study of the mineral chemistry of the kimberlites discovered in 2013, including PK150, is currently underway. This work will allow for a comparison to the compelling chemistry of the kimberlite indicator mineral trains identified within the 33,374 ha Pikoo property. This large project area hosts additional kimberlite targets and numerous anomalous KIM samples that require further follow up and target definition. Exploration plans for 2014 will be developed over the next couple of months; work is expected to include drilling, geophysical surveys and till sampling.

They will be analysing the mineral chemistry of their samples and comparing them with the previous indicator mineral trains discovered in the area. This will help them determine the source(s) of the mineral trains and help identify future exploration targets.

Mr. Armstrong continued, “Today’s news validates North Arrow’s strategic approach of targeting and assembling a prospective portfolio of Canadian diamond projects that benefit from significant historical exploration, and are now at an advanced or drill ready stage. North Arrow is well positioned with more than $6 million cash on hand to further advance this new diamond discovery at Pikoo, to collect a 500+ carat diamond parcel from the advanced Qilalugaq Project in Nunavut, and to evaluate unexplained kimberlite indicator mineral trains at the Redemption and Lac de Gras Diamond Projects in the heart of the Lac de Gras diamond district of the NWT.”

North Arrow retains the right to earn an 80% interest in the Pikoo Project by completing an option work program consisting of 2,000 m of diamond drilling. The July 2013 drilling program and related diamond results announced today have fulfilled the requirements of the option work program and North Arrow shall provide notice to Stornoway of its intent to vest an 80% interest in the project, subject to a one time back-in right held by Stornoway. Upon receipt of the vesting notice from North Arrow, Stornoway will have a 60 day period in which to elect to increase its interest in the Pikoo Project from 20% to 40% by paying to North Arrow an amount equal to three times the costs incurred by North Arrow in connection with the option work program.

North Arrow has completed the required drilling on this project to earn them their 80% stake. If North Arrow exercises that right, Stornoway will have an option to buy-back a portion of their interest by paying North Arrow 3 times their investment in the work performed.

Scientific and Technical Data

Diamond results reported above are based on work completed by Microlithics Laboratories, Thunder Bay, Ontario, an independent mineral process laboratory facility. Quality assurance protocols, security and actual operating procedures for the processing, transport and recovery of diamonds conform to industry standard Chain of Custody provisions. As part of North Arrow’s ongoing QA/QC programs, concentrate residues and other materials are subject to audit. Any significant changes to recovered diamond contents will be reported when available. The 2013 Pikoo drilling program was conducted under the direction and supervision of Barbara Kupsch, P.Geol., project manager for the Pikoo Project. North Arrow’s diamond exploration programs are conducted under the direction of Kenneth Armstrong, P.Geo., President and CEO of North Arrow and a Qualified Person under NI 43-101. Mr. Armstrong has reviewed the contents of this press release.

About North Arrow Minerals

North Arrow is a Canadian based exploration company focused on the identification and evaluation of diamond exploration opportunities in Canada. North Arrow’s management, board of directors and advisors have significant successful experience in the Canadian diamond industry. In addition to the Pikoo Project, North Arrow is also conducting exploration at each of the Qilalugaq (Nunavut), Redemption (Northwest Territories), Lac de Gras, (Northwest Territories), Mel (Nunavut), Luxx (Nunavut) and Timiskaming (Ontario) Diamond Projects.

North Arrow’s stock shot up after this announcement, but Stornoway’s did not. They’ve got their advanced Renard diamond mine project to worry about and this project is a drop in the bucket for them right now.

With 13 projects on the go, North Arrow has it’s hand in a lot of cookie jars and perhaps lacks focus. Diamond projects require a lot of time and resources so North Arrow is probably hoping that Stornoway will exercise it’s buy-back and inject them with some cash.

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Geology for Investors seeks to demystify mineral exploration and mining projects for mining company investors. All of our writers and contributors are experienced and educated in geology and the geosciences.