Star Diamond Corp. [DIAM-TSX; SHGDF-OTC] recovered a total of 5,161 diamonds weighing 272.59 carats to date from the fifth (19FALCT008) and sixth (19FALCT009) bulk sample trenches excavated on the Star kimberlite by Rio Tinto Exploration Canada Inc. in 2019.
“The results from Rio Tinto Canada’s bulk sampling program continue to confirm our belief that the Star-Orion South diamond project [in central Saskatchewan] has excellent geology with large and contiguous diamond-bearing kimberlites with a high proportion of valuable Type IIa stones,” said Ken MacNeill, President and CEO of Star Diamond. “The initial results from the first six reported trenches also continue to validate the grades outlined in our preliminary economic analysis that was based upon Star Diamond’s own underground bulk sampling and large-diameter drilling programs conducted between 2004 and 2009.”
MacNeill continued: “Based upon Star Diamond’s own prior programs, we would have expected to recover some larger diamonds out of Rio Tinto Canada’s work. However, as recently disclosed by Star Diamond, Rio Tinto Canada’s unproven and inadequately tested extraction and diamond recovery methodologies appear to be causing undue diamond breakage. Until critically important and comprehensive diamond breakage studies are completed, the processing, diamond recovery and reporting of all diamond results on the bulk sample trenches excavated by Rio Tinto Canada will not be complete.”
George Read, senior technical adviser, stated: “The fifth trench (19FALCT008) has produced a total of 14 diamonds ranging from 1.01 carats to 4.08 carats. The four largest diamonds recovered to date from 19FALCT008 are 4.08, 3.40, 3.39 and 3.20 carats, respectively, and were all recovered from Early Joli Fou (EJF) kimberlite. The sixth trench (19FALCT009) has produced a total of 13 diamonds ranging from 1.02 carats to 3.79 carats. The four largest diamonds recovered to date from 19FALCT009 are 3.79, 2.61, 2.28 and 2.20 carats, respectively, and were also all recovered from the EJF kimberlite. The EJF is the dominant kimberlite unit within the project in terms of ore volume and diamond grade.”
Star Diamond’s Fort à la Corne kimberlites (including the Star-Orion South diamond project) are near established infrastructure, including highways and power. During 2018, the corporation announced the positive results of an independent preliminary economic analysis on the project.