VANCOUVER, BRITISH COLUMBIA -- (Marketwired) -- 04/23/13 -- Peregrine Diamonds Ltd. ("Peregrine" or "the Company") (TSX: PGD) is pleased to report that a bulk sample weighing approximately 508 wet tonnes has been collected by surface trenching from the CH-6 kimberlite on the Company's 100 percent-owned Chidliak project ("Chidliak" or "the Project") located on Baffin Island, 120 kilometres from Iqaluit, the capital of Nunavut, Canada. As reported by Peregrine on September 5, 2012, the Project is subject to an option agreement with De Beers Canada ("De Beers") whereby De Beers has the exclusive right until December 31, 2013 to enter into an earn-in and joint venture agreement for Chidliak on a 50.1 percent De Beers / 49.9 percent Peregrine basis.
To date, approximately 325 tonnes of the 508 tonne bulk sample from the CH-6 kimberlite have been transported to Iqaluit where the sample is being stored until the summer when it will be transported to Montreal on the sealift. The sample is currently scheduled to be processed by the Saskatchewan Research Council in Saskatoon in the fourth quarter, followed by independent valuations of the resulting diamond parcel. Peregrine will not commence processing of the bulk sample until the earlier of: 1) De Beers delivering to the Company binding notice of their decision regarding their right to enter into an earn-in and joint venture agreement for Chidliak or 2) the expiry of this right. Peregrine's objective is to utilize the diamond grade and value information from the bulk sample and geologic and diamond content information acquired from core drill programs conducted in 2009, 2010 and 2011 to develop a preliminary revenue model and establish an initial resource for CH-6. This work will serve as a foundation for future independent resource calculations and together with the mining study being completed by De Beers, enable the completion of a Preliminary Economic Assessment for CH-6 in the first half of 2014.
The commencement of the CH-6 bulk sampling program, with an approximate sample size target of 200 tonnes, was announced on January 28, 2013. Work completed in February and March included the establishment of a camp near CH-6, mobilization of an excavator, drill and blast equipment and supplies to site from Iqaluit, and drilling and blasting of the trench area. The trench was excavated in early April exposing kimberlite below approximately four metres of overburden and approximately 508 wet tonnes of excavated kimberlite material was placed in securely sealed sample bags, each holding approximately one tonne. The sampling was completed on April 13 and the trench site was reclaimed. Transportation of the samples from the CH-6 site to Iqaluit commenced on April 9 using up to four Caterpillar Challenger vehicles hauling the sample via sleighs. In addition, a DC-3 aircraft is being utilized to transport sample material to Iqaluit. Four additional Challenger convoy round trips are required to transport all of the remaining bulk sample material to Iqaluit.
As reported on December 6, 2010, a 14.11 tonne mini-bulk sample collected from CH-6 returned a grade of 2.84 carats per tonne. If that grade is confirmed with further testing, CH-6 would be one of the highest grade kimberlite pipes in the world. On April 2, 2012, Peregrine reported a tonnage estimate for CH-6 that identified 5.7 million tonnes of kimberlite to a depth of 325 meters, with 3.6 million tonnes considered reasonably defined with good drilling support. The tonnage estimate does not constitute a mineral resource and there is no assurance that a resource will be identified through further exploration work at CH-6.
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