Stornoway Diamond Corporation reported its first mineral resource estimate for the Q1-4 kimberlite pipe located at its Qilalugaq diamond project in Nunavut, Canada. Qilalugaq includes the Qilalugaq kimberlite pipes and the Naujaat system of kimberlite dykes and has been the focus of ongoing exploration and assessment work by Stornoway since it was optioned and subsequently acquired from BHP Billiton.
A total inferred mineral resource for the Q1-4 kimberlite pipe was 26.1 million carats of diamonds from 48.8 million tonnes of ore. Additional resource upside has been identified in the form of a target for further exploration for the Q1-4 kimberlite pipe of between 7.9 million to 9.3 million carats.
Matt Manson, the president of Stornoway, said, ''As we focus on the financing and development of the Renard diamond project in Quebec, we continue to nurture our pipeline projects that represent the company's future growth potential. The Qilalugaq project, along with the Aviat project on the Melville Peninsula of Nunavut, is one of our advanced exploration projects where previous work has delineated a large potential inventory of diamonds, but where we have only limited diamond valuation data. The Q1-4 kimberlite complex at Qilalugaq is large, easily accessible from the hamlet of Repulse Bay, and exposed at surface. We are very pleased to have reported such a large maiden mineral resource estimate at a project that, with the long term positive outlook on diamond prices, is becoming increasing compelling.''
BHP discovered eight kimberlites at Qilalugaq between 2003 and 2005. Stornoway optioned the property in July of 2006, and discovered an additional eight kimberlites between 2006 and 2010. All kimberlites are diamondiferous, and occur within a 26 by 3 kilometer structurally favorable corridor. In July of 2010, Stornoway became full owner of Qilalugaq by providing BHP with a 3 percent royalty interest in the project.
The Q1-4 kimberlite, which Stornoway defined as the largest kimberlite pipe in the eastern Canadian Arctic, is situated approximately 8 kilometers from tidewater, and less than 9 kilometers from the hamlet of Repulse Bay. Q1-4 is interpreted as a complex, steep-sided, diatreme to root-zone kimberlite, with a lobate external shape. It is comprised of five phases of kimberlite: A28a, A48a, A48b, A61a and A88a, and has been geologically modeled to a depth of 305 meters below the surface. The pipe shape was defined from drill hole data, country rock and kimberlite outcrop exposures, and magnetic geophysical surveys. Kimberlite geology has been determined using detailed logging of drill core and results of petrographic studies and includes massive volcaniclastic kimberlite classified as "tuffisitic" kimberlitic breccia, lesser coherent "hypabyssal" kimberlite, and varying proportions of country-rock xenoliths.
The mineral resource estimate was authored by Geostrat Consulting Inc., which summarized the results of exploration programs conducted on the Qilalugaq property by BHP from 2003 to 2005, and by Stornoway from 2006 to 2012. The technical report recommends moving forward to collect a large tonnage surface sample at Q1-4 in order to establish a diamond price estimate. Stornoway has submitted an application to regulatory authorities in order to pursue this sample program.