Diamond Exploration in Canada’s Northwest Territories
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Margaret Lake Diamonds Inc. (TSXV:DIA) is a Canadian junior mining company focused on exploring its two diamond properties, Margaret Lake and Diagras properties, in the Northwest Territories (NWT) and its Kiyuk Lake gold property in Nunavut, Canada. Margaret Lake and Diagras are located in a region seeing enhanced interest for diamond exploration.
The company’s wholly-owned Margaret Lake property is located only nine kilometers north of Canada’s newest diamond project, the Mountain Province Diamonds (TSX:MPVD) and De Beers Group Gahcho Kué mine, and two kilometers away from Kennady Diamonds’ (TSXV:KDI) Kennady North project, home to the Kelvin and Faraday kimberlite deposits. The company has launched an exploration program at the Margaret Lake project with the goal of further developing six kimberlite target areas on the property.
As part of a joint venture with Arctic Star Exploration (TSXV:ADD), the company’s second project in the Northwest Territories is a 60 percent interest in the Diagras property. The property hosts 13 known kimberlites originally discovered by DeBeers in the 1990s and Margaret Lake believes there is an opportunity to apply modern exploration techniques to define additional kimberlites. To date, the company has acquired the necessary regulatory approval to proceed with all future drill programs on the project.
Margaret Lake has recently acquired the Kiyuk Lake gold property in the Kivalliq region in southern Nunavut, Canada. The property has seen significant past exploration by Newmont Mining (NYSE:NEM) and Cache Exploration (TSXV:CAY) including 13,000 meters of drilling and the delineation of four mineralized zones: Rusty, Gold Point, Cobalt and Amundsen. The property also hosts five high-priority target areas that have not been drill tested. Mineralization has been traced over a 13-kilometer strike length that remains open in all directions.
Margaret Lake is led by a management team rife with resource exploration experience. This includes CEO Jared Lazerson, who has worked in the mining and technology industries since 1994, and VP of Exploration Buddy Doyle, who is a former exploration manager for Kennecott Utah Copper, a division of Rio Tinto (ASX:RIO,LSE:RIO,NYSE:RIO). He is also known for having led the team that discovered the Diavik diamond deposits in the Northwest Territories between 1994 and 1995.
- Three projects in the safe and stable jurisdictions of NWT and Nunavut, Canada.
- Margaret Lake project nine kilometers away from newest Canadian diamond mine: Gahcho Kué.
- Diagras project with 13 previously uncovered kimberlites with potential for discovery.
- Exploration initiatives underway at both properties.
- Experienced management team with extensive insight in diamond exploration in the NWT.
Flagship: Margaret Lake Property
Located in the NWT, the company’s wholly-owned Margaret Lake property consists of 23 mineral claims totaling 23,199 hectares. The project is located nearby existing diamond mines in the Kennady Lake field, which is unusual in that all of the kimberlites discovered on it to date are diamond bearing.
As part of their 100 percent interest in the property, the Margaret Lake is not subject to any underlying royalties. The company has also acquired a five-year Type A land use permit authorizing exploration, drilling and the establishment of a mining camp.
The Margaret Lake property encompasses part of the southeastern Slave Geological Province, an Archean terrane determined to be between 2.55 to 4.03 billion years old. The area’s geology is dominated by granitic to granodioritic intrusions, high-grade gneisses, migmatites and predominantly sedimentary supracrustal rocks to the east.
Within the area’s geology, the emplacement of kimberlite bodies is estimated to have occurred 542 million years ago during the Cambrian Period. Since emplacement, erosional processes are particularly significant due to their stripping the kimberlites down to their root zones, preserving their hypabyssal and diatreme facies.
Margaret Lake Exploration
Margaret Lake combined data gathered from extensive geophysical surveys in the spring of 2017, an airborne gravity gradiometry survey in 2014 and public domain data from the Mining Recorders assessment archives to determine priority targets on the property. To further round out their dataset, the company also purchased data from GGL Resources, formerly Gerle Gold, a company which assisted in conducting nearly all of the exploration work in the area.
Margaret Lake Diamond’s exploration model is patterned after methods used by Kennady Diamonds to delineate their own kimberlite targets in the adjacent property. Kennady Diamonds discovered correlations between targeting non-magnetic pyroclastic kimberlite targets located in close proximity to a magnetic kimberlite dyke with electromagnetic gravity responses. This exploration model resulted in the delineation of the Kelvin-Faraday resource, contiguous to the southeast of Margaret Lake’s property. To date, some of the electromagnetic responses from its targets display a similar shape to Kennady Diamonds’ Faraday kimberlite.
In May 2018, Margaret Lake announced it had begun a drill program at six of the property’s kimberlite targets. Each of the drill-targets display a gravity low, bedrock conductor, or a combination of both, and have been profiled as having geophysical characteristics indicative of kimberlite bodies. The drill program, however, did not intersect any kimberlite intrusions and the project has been put on hold for the time being.
The Diagras Property
Margaret Lake owns 60 percent of the Diagras property as part of a joint venture with Arctic Star Exploration. The property is comprised of 29 contiguous claims across 22,595 hectares in the NWT, in the prolific Lac de Gras kimberlite field. It sits immediately adjacent to and on the same structure as Dominion Diamond Mines’ (TSX:DDC) Diavik and Ekati diamond complex, which has multiple mine plans for over 1 carat per ton.
To date, the property is known to host 13 kimberlites discovered by the DeBeers Group in the 1990s. Margaret Lake aims to apply modern ground geophysical methods within the property to define undiscovered kimberlites or kimberlite phases.
In 2017, a comprehensive ground survey program was conducted on the property in which magnetic (130-line kilometers), gravity (22.83-line kilometers) and electromagnetic (22.40-line kilometers) surveys were completed across 11 target areas. The program’s purpose was to further evaluate areas near previously identified kimberlites in addition to exploring new target areas identified through the use of public domain data.
All necessary regulatory approval has been attained to begin the next phase of exploration on the property. Margaret Lake conducted ground geophysical programs to cover areas proximal to previously defined kimberlites with the aim of expanding the number of drill-ready targets. As part of this program, the company identified three new drill targets for the upcoming drill program.
Moving forward, Margaret Lake will be conducting follow-up exploration on the newly identified targets with expanded ground geophysics and drilling. To date, geophysical work has generated drill targets with kimberlite-like signatures.
Kiyuk Lake Gold Property
Margaret Lake has the option to acquire an 80 percent interest in the 59,000-hectare Kiyuk Lake gold property. The property is located in the Kivalliq region in southern Nunavut, Canada. The property is accessible year-round and hosts a 35-person base camp.
“Kiyuk offers a very compelling district-scale exploration opportunity to delineate a new Canadian gold mining camp,” said Margaret Lake President and CEO Jared Lazerson. “Preparations are well underway to conduct an aggressive exploration program in 2019 that will include additional ground magnetic studies to further define drill targets as well as core drilling to expand known zones of mineralization. We look forward to advancing this project to a development-ready stage.”
The property has seen significant past exploration by Newmont Mining (NYSE:NEM) in 2008 and Cache Exploration (TSXV:CAY) in 2017. Past exploration work includes over 13,000 meters of drilling and the delineation of four mineralized zones: Rusty, Gold Point, Cobalt and Amundsen. The property also hosts five high-priority target areas that have not been drill tested: Rasmussen, South Snake, North Snake, Airstrip and East Gold Point. Mineralization, however, has been traced over a 13-kilometer strike length that remains open in all directions.
The Rusty zone was initially discovered in a prospecting program. Samples taken from the area returned values up to 9.27 g/t gold. Grab samples taken in 2012 returned values up to 6.48 g/t gold. In 2017, Cache completed a drill program at Kiyuk Lake. Results from the program include intersects of 122 meters grading 1.82 g/t gold and two meters grading 92.76 g/t gold.
The Gold Point zone hosts the East Gold Point prospect. Prior to 2012, historical rock sampling returned up to 24.69 g/t gold and a single boulder 1.35 kilometers to the southwest graded 1.33 g/t gold and is along strike with the mineral horizon. Sampling at the East Gold Point prospect has returned up to 2.36 g/t gold.
Drilling in 2012 suggests that the Cobalt zone has a 250-meter strike length. Historical sampling returned up to 15.5 g/t gold and up to 2.21 g/t gold in 2012. The Amundsen zone is located 850 meters south of the Cobalt zone. Historic rock sampling identified a mineralized boulder train that returned up to 15.2 g/t gold. One drill hole was completed at the zone in 2012 and intersected 42 meters grading 0.97 g/t gold including 12 meters grading 2.3 g/t gold.
Margaret Lake is currently conducting an exploration program on the property which will be followed up with 5,000 meters of drilling. The program will include a ground magnetic survey to help generate high-priority drill targets for the upcoming drill program. The drill program will primarily be focused on expanding the Rusty zone along strike and to depth.
Jared Lazerson—President, CEO and Director
Has worked in the mining and technology industries since 1994 with companies including Osprey Systems (GPS and Digital Mapping), United Helicopters, Copper Island Mines and Manto Resources. Mr. Lazerson holds a BA in International Relations from the University of Pennsylvania and is also President and CEO of publicly traded MGX Minerals Inc.
Buddy Doyle—Director, VP Exploration
Buddy Doyle is a geologist with 31 years experience in mineral exploration. He led the team that discovered the Diavik diamond deposits in 1994-95 and is the former exploration manager for Kennecott/Rio Tinto.
Darryl Sittler is a former National Hockey League player and 1989 inductee to the Hockey Hall of Fame. He is a current director of TSX-listed Wallbridge Mining Company and a former director of Royal Nickel Corp.
Donald Huston has been actively involved in the exploration industry for over 30 years. He is currently a director of several public resource companies.
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