Stornoway Doubles Size of Aviats Highly Diamondiferous AV267 Sheetadmin
Stornoway Diamond Corporation and Hunter Exploration Group (Hunter) are pleased to provide the following update for the Aviat Project, host to a series of significantly diamondiferous kimberlite pipes and sheets (see map available at http://www.stornowaydiamonds.com/_resources/Kimberlite-Bodies.jpg). The 486,000 acre Aviat Project is located on the Melville Peninsula in eastern Nunavut, Canada, and is a joint venture between Stornoway (90%) and Hunter (10%), with Stornoway holding 100% of the diamond marketing rights.
Exploration activities during 2008 have concentrated on delineating the size and grade potential of the known sheets within the Eastern Sheet Complex (“ESC”) in support of the first conceptual resource study at the project. Delineation drilling has also been undertaken on the AV9 kimberlite pipe which was discovered during 2007. Field components of the 2008 Aviat exploration program have now been completed, with the following highlights:
– Significantly expanded the lateral extent of the highly diamondiferous AV267 body from approximately 125ha to 250 ha – Successfully collected 202 wet tonnes of kimberlite from AV267 at two surface exposures – Confirmed the pipe-like nature of AV9 and extended it to a minimum depth of 175m (longest continuous kimberlite intersection 195m) – Discovered a new kimberlite sheet within the Eastern Sheet Complex
– Completed 23 diamond drill holes for a total of 3,225 m of drilling
Stornoway’s CEO Eira Thomas commented: “The 2008 drilling campaign at AV267 has been extremely successful. It has extended both the size and tonnage potential of this typically continuous, flat-lying diamondiferous kimberlite sheet. We remain highly encouraged about the potential to define a significant, accessible, near surface diamond resource. The next step is to incorporate these results into the first conceptual resource study at Aviat, which is expected to be completed before the end of this month. The 200 tonne sample at AV267 will add additional insight into the grade, diamond value and overall economic potential of this large scale, and growing, diamond camp.”
Prior to the 2008 program, the AV267 sheet had been intersected by drilling over approximately 2km of strike length and up to 500m down dip, representing some 125ha of surface area, and encompassing the original AV2, AV6 and AV7 outcrop discoveries (interpreted to be surface expressions of one single AV267 sheet). Drilling completed in 2008 suggests that AV267, or a comparable laterally contiguous body, extends to the southeast for an additional 125ha of surface area. This larger body incorporates the AV3 Lower and AV8 Upper bodies and is not fully constrained either along strike or down dip. A total of 15 holes (2,081m) were completed with 46 intersections of kimberlite. Some 20 drill intersections of the primary kimberlite sheets (63.6m) ranged from 0.23 to 16.3m downhole (3.2m average), and included both macrocrystic hypabyssal kimberlite and associated zones of kimberlite breccia. The AV267 sheet dips shallowly (8 to 13 degrees) to the south and west, and appears to generally thicken from northeast to southwest, with intercepts of between 7 – 16m having been encountered, as it approaches the regional fault hosting the AV1 and AV9 kimberlite pipes.
On the basis of work completed to date, Stornoway has engaged SRK Consulting (Canada) Inc. (“SRK”), an independent consultant, to provide a conceptual resource study on the AV267 kimberlite. This will provide an estimated range of potential kimberlite tonnage and diamond content within the sheet over its known extent, and will be an important catalyst for future, advanced level work. The results of this study are expected before the end of September 2008.
The 202 wet tonne sample of AV267, comprising 45 tonnes from the original AV6 outcrop and 157 tonnes from the original AV2 outcrop, is currently being shipped south for processing to recover commercial sized diamonds, with preliminary results expected late in 2008. It is expected that this sample will be large enough to give a more authorative indication of diamond content and an initial indication of diamond value within this portion of AV267. Earlier this year (see press release of January 29, 2008 at www.stornowaydiamonds.com/investor_relations/news_releases/2008/index.php?&content_id=412) Stornoway reported a diamond content of 162 carats per hundred tonnes (cpht) from 20.6 tonnes of AV267, including the recovery of a 3.64 carat gem quality white dodecahedron.
AV267 was one of a series of kimberlite sheets intersected over an area measuring about 1.5 by 3.5 km on the northeast side of the regional fault that hosts the AV1 and AV9 kimberlites. Kimberlite sheets in the ESC appear to follow the general pattern of layered, horizontally stacked bodies separated by vertical distances of 10 to 30m. Interpretation and correlation of the kimberlite sheets is an ongoing process, supported by structural data, petrography, indicator mineral chemistry and diamond content data. Given the potential correlation of AV267 with the AV3 Lower and AV8 Upper kimberlites, and ongoing interpretations, there are three other sheets within the ESC with tonnage potential (AV2 Upper, AV8 Middle and AV8 Lower). Drilling on these bodies has been limited, and was not the focus of the 2008 program, but at the present time the minimum inferred surface areas are approximately 46ha, 30ha and 10ha, respectively. New drill intersections of as yet un-named kimberlite sheets discovered in 2008 are currently being integrated into the overall geologic model.
The AV9 pipe, discovered at the end of the 2007 field season, is described as a transitional kimberlite pipe, containing both macrocrystic hypabyssal and transitional hypabyssal breccia phases. The initial 2007 drilling intersected kimberlite within a horizontal area measuring approximately 60 x 60 meters, and to a vertical depth greater than 100 meters, but neither the lateral nor vertical extent of AV9 could be determined at that time. Caustic fusion of 307.26kg (dry) of kimberlite core from AV9 returned 236 diamonds (stones retained on a 0.106mm square mesh sieve), conclusively demonstrating that the body was diamondiferous and comparable to other kimberlite bodies at the Aviat Project (see press release of December 12, 2007 at www.stornowaydiamonds.com/investor_relations/news_releases/2007/index.php?&content_id=403).
Drilling at AV9 in 2008 consisted of nine holes (two incomplete) totalling 1,144m. Of the holes that cut the AV9 body, kimberlite intersections ranged from 19.1m to 195.4m, suggesting a lenticular shaped body. The latter hole collared in kimberlite and remained in kimberlite until the end of the hole at 215m, suggesting a minimum vertical depth of 175m below current surface for the AV9 body. Kimberlite core has been submitted for caustic fusion analysis, and results will be reported when available.