A large land package in mining-friendly Australia
Looking for diamonds as producers are actively seeking to replace depleting resources
Strong management with a history of success in diamond exploration
What Lithoquest Diamonds does:
Lithoquest Diamonds Inc (CVE:LDI) is an explorer focused on finding gemstones at its 100%-owned North Kimberley project in Western Australia.
The asset consists of three licences and covers 1,500 square kilometres (km) which lie in the northern portion of the flat-lying Kimberley Plateau, around 65 km east of the community of Kalumburu. The Gibb River and Kalumburu roads provide ground access to the project, which is also on tidewater.
Significantly, the Canada-headquartered group has already found kimberlites - the primary source rocks for diamonds - there and the firm, which began trading on the venture exchange in Toronto in 2017, believes the project is host to a field of these diamond-bearing volcanic pipes.
Last year, the firm discovered kimberlite on its first two drill programs, confirming the project's potential, and the group continues to make encouraging progress with 2019 drilling.
It says it has taken the project, in just 1-1/2 years, from a geochemical anomaly to a discovery.
How's the company doing:
This year, Lithoquest Diamonds' fieldwork was focused on 20 priority areas, and in October it began a program to test three areas of interest. In a statement on October 21, the company revealed two new kimberlites had been uncovered.
It said 928 metres (m) of drilling was completed in 11 reverse circulation (RC) holes on targets 1805, 1826 and 1827 during this year's program and kimberlite was found at two targets - 1805 and 1826 - with potential for 'significant tonnage'.
Drill samples are being submitted to the lab for further geochemical analysis and diamond testing, with diamond results expected before the end of the year.
"These new discoveries reinforce the diamond potential of the North Kimberley Diamond project and validate the technical team's approach to exploration," Bruce Counts, Lithoquest Diamonds' CEO, said.
He added that Kimberlite 1805 was "particularly exciting" due to the extent of the anomaly and potential for a significant volume of material.
Target 1805 is a 1.7 km long linear feature, which was tested with five holes in three locations over 700 metres (m). All five holes hit kimberlite. Meanwhile, the eastern end of target 1805 is around 1 km from kimberlite 1804.
Data suggests that the two features may be part of a system that is continuous over 3.1 km, the firm said.
At target 1826, four holes were sunk. Kimberlite was hit over a 3 m interval between 41 m and 44 m in one hole. None in the others.
No kimberlite was intersected at target 1827 but the target remains prospective and further work was planned for next year, the firm said. Lithoquest also told investors that drilling was also conducted on the 1804 kimberlite discovered last year in a bid to gain a better understanding of its body geometry and size.
The hole at 1804 hit 53 metres (m) of kimberlite from a depth of between 132 m and 185 m and a reinterpretation of the geophysical signature suggests that the kimberlite's dimensions of are 40 m by 12 m.
There are five steps towards ending up actually mining diamonds, according to the group's presentation. It is currently target testing, which is the step after target development. It will then move toward mini-bulk sampling, having tested material for any micro-diamond content.
That will show if there are any valuable macro-diamonds and work out an initial grade. Then there will be large bulk sampling, which will lead to feasibility studies and, finally, mining itself.
- Lab results on diamond testing
- Further drilling work and newsflow
What the boss says:
"We are well-positioned to continue advancing the project and look forward to providing diamond results to the market in the coming weeks," Bruce Counts, CEO at Lithoquest has said.