Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Stellar Diamonds begins resource drilling at Tongo project

Stellar Diamonds the diamond miner focused on West Africa, announced today it has begun resource drilling at its high-grade Tongo kimberlite diamond project in eastern Sierra Leone.

The company expects the 6,000 metre diamond core drilling programme will help define a maiden inferred resource estimate to at least 200m below surface.

Bulk sampling has already yielded 926 carats for undiluted grade of 115 carats per hundred tonnes (cpht), with potential in-situ kimberlite value estimated at up to $220 per tonne.

Stellar’s chief executive Karl Smithson says that with the recent appointment of CAE Mining as mining consultant, and now the commencement of drilling, the company remains on track to establish a maiden resource for the Tongo Dyke project in the first quarter of 2012.

Smithson adds that the Tongo bulk sampling grades “continue to prove encouraging”, with the kimberlite yielding an average grade to date of 115cpht. A further diamond parcel of approximately 300 carats will be exported in the near future to combine with the parcel of 639cts already in Antwerp which was recently valued at $191 per carat.

The company recently signed up E-Global Drilling to undertake the 6,000m core drilling at Tongo, with an option to extend the meterage if necessary. This first phase of drilling will be focussed on the 2.5km strike length of Tongo Dyke 1 in order to establish lateral and depth continuity of the kimberlite ore body at every 100m along strike.

Holes are being planned to intersect the kimberlite at depths of 50m, 100m and 200m from surface, with some holes targeting intersections at 300m vertical depth.

In addition, the 1km long Tongo Dyke 4, located 1km to the north of Dyke 1 will also be drilled as part of the programme. Previous mini-bulk sampling of Dyke 4 undertaken by Stellar returned grades of 100cpht.

CAE Mining are overseeing the resource drilling and bulk sampling programmes as part of their mandate to independently establish a maiden inferred resource estimate for the Tongo project.

In all, Stellar owns a 100% interest in four high-grade kimberlite projects in Guinea and Sierra Leone.

In Guinea resource definition drilling is continuing on the diamondiferous Droujba kimberlite pipe and a processing plant is being established on site to process bulk samples.

Smithson says: “We remain confident about the potential the Tongo kimberlite project offers and we look forward to updating the market on the progress we make as we work to establish a maiden resource base at both our Tongo and Droujba projects."

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