Peregrine Discovers Kimberlite at Chidliak, Baffin Island; Estimated Kimberlite Size: Six Hectares
VANCOUVER, BRITISH COLUMBIA–(Marketwire – July 23, 2008) – Mr. Brooke Clements, President and Mr. Eric Friedland, Chief Executive Officer of Peregrine Diamonds Ltd. (TSX:PGD) (“Peregrine” or “the Company”) are pleased to report the discovery of a new kimberlite on the Chidliak property (“Chidliak”), Baffin Island, Nunavut, Canada. A kimberlite outcrop was discovered within a circular magnetic anomaly selected from an airborne geophysical survey that commenced on July 17, 2008. The anomaly has an estimated surface expression of six hectares. The outcrop was discovered in an area with high concentrations of kimberlite indicator minerals (“KIMs”). As reported in a news release on February 19, 2008, many of these indicator minerals have geochemical compositions that imply their kimberlite source contains diamonds. Chidliak is situated approximately 150 kilometres northeast of Iqaluit, capital of Nunavut. The proximity to the capital provides the Chidliak project with better infrastructure support than is available in other more remote regions of Nunavut.
A sample of approximately 200 kilograms collected from the kimberlite outcrop has been shipped to Saskatchewan Research Council Geoanalytical Laboratories for microdiamond recovery by caustic fusion. Results of the analyses are expected in August.
Mr. Peter Holmes, Peregrine’s Vice President, Exploration stated, “This is a significant discovery in a brand new area; the nearest known kimberlites are approximately 700 kilometres to the east in Greenland. The fact that the discovery was made after only the fourth day of the airborne geophysical survey provides optimism that this is the first of many kimberlite discoveries to be made. We have now proven that there is good tonnage potential in this new district and the encouraging mineral chemistry on the property suggests that some of the kimberlites could be significantly diamondiferous.”
Brooke Clements, President of Peregrine, stated, “This discovery, coupled with the discovery of a new diamond district on the Nanuq property in the eastern Arctic region of Nunavut in July 2007, puts Peregrine in a unique position among junior diamond explorers in the world. Peregrine currently controls 100% interests in Nanuq and Chidliak and it is truly early days in the evaluation of the diamond potential of these two new districts. We look forward to continued encouraging results. The discoveries at Nanuq and Chidliak are the result of the hard work, dedication and technical expertise of the Peregrine staff and the efforts of many contractors.”
Description of Kimberlite Discovery and 2008 Chidliak Work Program
On July 17, 2008, Fugro Airborne Surveys Corporation initiated a 9,000 line kilometre heli-borne magnetic/electromagnetic survey flown at a 100 metre line spacing. The survey was designed to cover the most prominent KIM anomalies that have been identified on the property. The three distinct and well-defined KIM anomaly areas on Chidliak are situated 20 to 30 kilometres apart and are referred to as the Southern Anomaly, the Northern Anomaly and the Eastern Anomaly. Peregrine’s geophysicist, Maiko Sell is in the field interpreting the survey data on a real-time basis. On July 20, 2008, after the fourth day of surveying, a large circular magnetic anomaly, approximately 250 metres in diameter, was selected from the survey data for follow-up on the ground. Mr. Sell and Project Manager Hugo Grenon visited the anomaly and immediately discovered an outcrop of weathered kimberlite measuring three metres by five metres. Abundant kimberlite cobbles are present in the soil away from the outcrop within the boundaries of the anomaly. The kimberlite from the outcrop is described as being magmatic with abundant olivine macrocrysts, some up to 10 mm in size. Abundant mauve-colored pyrope garnet and chrome diopside are present and both ilmenite and chromite were tentatively identified. An altered peridotite xenolith was also observed.
Three maps, an image showing the encouraging garnet mineral chemistry from Chidliak, and several photographs of the kimberlite discovery are available at http://www.pdiam.com/i/pdf/chidliak.pdf.
The Chidliak airborne survey is scheduled to be completed in mid- August, 2008. The field crew will continue to investigate high count KIM anomalies at Chidliak and geophysical anomalies chosen from the survey, in an effort to make additional kimberlite discoveries this year. Peregrine expects to generate many targets from the airborne survey and preparations are underway for a drill program to be initiated in the summer of 2009.
In addition to its diamond potential, the Chidliak property also hosts strong platinum and base metal anomalies as described in a Peregrine news release issued on February 28, 2008. Highly anomalous concentrations of the platinum-bearing mineral sperrylite, the zinc- bearing mineral gahnite and the copper-bearing mineral chalcopyrite were recovered from till samples collected in 2007. A four-person crew has initiated a follow-up program on the metals anomalies that includes prospecting, geologic mapping, geochemical sampling and ground geophysics.
Alliance with BHP Billiton
The Chidliak property is owned 100% by Peregrine, subject to certain back-in rights held by BHP Billiton. After Peregrine has incurred a minimum of $3 million and up to $10 million of expenditures on the property, BHP Billiton has a one-time option to elect to acquire a 51% interest in the property by sole-funding five times the exploration expenditures that have been incurred ($15 million to $50 million). To date, Peregrine has incurred an estimated $2.2 million in expenditures on the property. BHP Billiton has the right to earn an additional seven percent interest in the property by sole-funding the complete costs of a bankable feasibility study. If this option is exercised, the resulting ownership interests in any potential mine would be BHP Billiton 58% and Peregrine 42%.
Mr. Peter Holmes, P. Geo., Peregrine’s Vice President, Exploration, is a Qualified Person under NI 43-101 and is responsible for the design and conduct of the programs carried out by the Company on the Chidliak property.
Forward-Looking Statements: This document includes forward- looking statements. Forward-looking statements include, but are not limited to statements concerning Peregrine’s projects and other statements that are not historical facts. When used in this document, the words such as “could”, “commonly”, “confident”, “plan”, “encouraging”, “estimate”, “expect”, “anticipated”, “intend”, “imply”, “likely”, “may”, “potential”, “should”, “scheduled”, “significant”, “suggest”, and similar expressions are forward-looking statements. Although Peregrine Diamonds Ltd. believes that its expectations reflected in these forward-looking statements are reasonable, such statements involve risk and uncertainties and no assurance can be given that actual results will be consistent with these forward-looking statements. Important factors that could cause actual results to differ from these forward- looking statements are disclosed in the corporation’s periodic filings with Canadian regulators.
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