Diamond & Specialty Minerals Summary for Sept. 14, 2017
THE DIAMOND and specialty minerals stocks box score for Thursday was a pleasant 75-54-134. The TSX Venture Exchange gained five points to 776 while polished diamond prices were flat. Tantalex Resources Corp. (TTX) doubled today, closing up 4.5 cents to nine cents on 1.53 million shares on word it can acquire lithium, cobalt or other specialty mineral projects in the Democratic Republic of the Congo.
Matthew Wood’s Five Star Diamonds Ltd. (STAR), up 1.5 cents to 24 cents on 262,000 shares, has diamond counts from its Riachao project in Brazil. The 13 micro diamonds are apparently from the big ,25- hectare pipe that the company discovered in May. Mr. Wood, chairman, president and chief executive officer, says that Five Star collected two “mini-bulk samples” — an aggrandizing term unusual even for Howe Street to describe two small samples weighing less than 100 kilograms each. One batch yielded 11 stones, the other two, from a grand total of 195.3 kilograms of kimberlite.
Mr. Wood says that all 13 diamonds are transparent and 10 of them are deemed white or colourless stones. He also points out that five of the gems were broken dodecahedra crystals, three were octahedrals, two were octahedral contact twins, two others were fragments and the remaining stone was a dodecahedral crystal. While Mr. Wood diligently laid out the details of his diamonds according to the “Four Cs,” he left out one important descriptor: the size of the gems. Rarely does a diamond promoter inadvertently omit an important bit of information; although data often go missing intentionally when the news is bad. As a result, it is likely that none of the diamonds were promotably large.
Five Star’s Riachao samples were hammered off and hoed up from two outcrops, nearly 30 metres apart on the eastern part of the kimberlite target. Mr. Wood says that more work is set to begin immediately at Riachao, with auger drilling, surface mapping and more “bulk sampling” planned. (Given Five Star’s hyperbolic description of its first two tests, the bulk samples will presumably be limited to samples weighing hundreds of kilograms, not hundreds of tonnes.)
Mr. Wood called the diamond counts “exceptional early results,” adding that additional assessment needs to be completed on this “very large kimberlite.” (It is big by global standards, he says, but it is probably huge by Brazilian standards, where most commercial diamond production comes from alluvial deposits derived from long eroded kimberlites.) Indeed, Mr. Wood points to historical commercial production from the area immediately surrounding the big pipe, suggesting that the area, if not the pipe itself, is favourable for diamonds. Therefore, Five Star has been seeking other pipe targets at Riachao and it appears that some will be tested with ground geophysics.
Paul Brockington’s Margaret Lake Diamonds Inc. (DIA), unchanged at 7.5 cents on 90,000 shares, has appointed Don Huston to its board. Mr. Brockington, president and CEO, touts his newest director’s “wealth of experience” in running exploration programs and public companies, adding that he “looks forward to his input.” While Mr. Brockington notes Mr. Huston’s roles as president of Cypress Development Corp. (CYP: $0.11) and director of two Jim Pettit companies: Skyharbour Resources Ltd. (SYH: $0.40) and Aben Resources Ltd. (ABN: $0.41), Mr. Huston also had a fringe role with several Howe Street diamond juniors in the late 1990s and early 2000s, the glory days of Canada’s diamond hunt.
Mr. Huston’s well-named Dasher Exploration Inc. dashed about from one fringe diamond project to the next, starting in 2001 when it acquired a prospect adjoining the (long since failed) Knife kimberlite in the North Slave district, and ending in 2003 when its sliver of the Coronation area play in Nunavut came to naught. (Knife was a large pipe but it had a low grade; the Coronation district hosted a cluster of kimberlites that were mostly barren of macrodiamonds, so Mr. Huston may well have a cautionary wealth of information to share.)
Patrick Highsmith’s Pure Energy Minerals Inc. (PE), unchanged at 50 cents on 255,000 shares, is offering three million shares at 50 cents, and perhaps another 600,000 shares more if an overallotment option is fully exercised. The $1.5-million that the company is seeking is for working capital and exploration at Clayton Valley South and Terra Cotta. Pure Energy had sufficient working capital
at last report and while it muses about work on the Terra Cotta lithium brine project in northern Argentina, the company’s website proclaims Pure to be “focused on the Clayton Valley project” in Nevada.
That focus was sharpened in June, when the company completed a preliminary economic assessment of Clayton Valley South, deriving a discounted net present value of $264.1-million (U.S.) after taxes for a $297-million (U.S.) mine capable of producing 9,100 tonnes of lithium carbonate per year for 20 years. That plan considered a drainable brine resource of 331 million cubic metres averaging 123 parts per million lithium.
Dr. Andreas Rompel’s Cobalt Power Group Inc. (CPO), down one cent to 13.5 cents on 178,000 shares, has started a second phase of drilling at its Smith cobalt property, near Cobalt in Northeastern Ontario. The company, formerly Global Copper Group Inc., retooled itself a year ago through its acquisition of Smith. It mounted its first drill program in May, completing nearly 1,900 metres across nine holes. In mid-May, Dr. Rompel, president and CEO, said that the assays were “pending” — a term often a synonym for “this could take awhile.” Dr. Rompel now concedes that while the assays for most of the holes have been received, the company will hold off releasing the results until they are all available. (It is unclear if he just wants the market to have all the required information at once, or if he is hoping that the assays to come are better than the ones he is keeping secret for now.)
The new drill program will include between 10 and 15 holes, at least 2,000 metres in all, that will focus upon evaluating the recently discovered mineralized zone that showed up in July: A channel sample of a 10-centimetre-wide vein assayed 12.5 per cent cobalt, 82.2 grams of silver and 4.99 grams of gold per tonne, 0.53 per cent nickel and at least 1 per cent bismuth and arsenic. Dr. Rompel says that the new drilling will also follow up on results of the earlier drilling, offering encouragement that there is something in the yet to be released assays deemed worthy of a second look.