Junior leads diamond 'rush' by example; Sharing and comparing data with Discover Abitibi helped Tres-Or spark the biggest staking rush to hit the area in 20 years: CEO.
This aggressive four-year-old junior miner has three diamond exploration projects on the go, two in northeastern Ontario and one in Quebec. With more than 100,000 hectares of claims between the Temagami North and south Temagami projects, Tres-Or invested $3.4 million in its Ontario project during its 2004-05 exploration program.
Finding the highest priority targets before other juniors do appears to be what this small but savvy exploration company tends to do.
It's the case with its most recent discovery of the Lapointe kimberlite, 60 kilometres northwest of New Liskeard, just off of Highway 11. That discovery is on land Tres-Or calls the northern extension of the Temagami North project.
"We're in the business of finding diamond-bearing kimberlites," says president and CEO Laura Lee Duffett.
They have their own in-house methods of determining high-priority geophysical targets, and so far, they have come up with diamondiferous (contains diamonds) pipes every time.
"As project manager, we've had a very successful track record in both Ontario and Quebec," Duffett says. "In our Ontario program (Lapointe), we intersected kimberlite in the first hole."
Duffett attributes the diamond discovery to the information provided from the Discover Abitibi Initiative, a government-supported geophysical exploration project in Timmins. Tres-Or acquired, reprocessed and added the July 2004 geophysical information from Discover Abitibi to their data, which led to staking high-priority targets that fall. Eventually, that resulted in the Lapointe discovery, the largest kimberlite-bearing pipe discovered in Ontario.
The 23-hectare pipe has chemistry similar to other known diamond pipes in Ontario, such as the DeBeer's Victor kimberlite and Contact Diamond Corporation's 95-2, according to Duffett. Lapointe proved up diamonds in the first four holes of the company's 13-hole, 3,500-metre delineation drill program.
In the 588-kilogram sample, 30 diamonds were recovered. Of those, five were macro (0.5 millimetres or greater) in one dimension, and a sixth was almost 2 mm, macro in all dimensions, described as a clear, white gem-quality stone.
Duffett says it is a known fact that kimberlites appear in clusters, and after the company announced their discovery, it prompted the region's biggest staking rush in the last 20 years by several juniors, all wanting a piece of the diamond pie.
Prior to that, Tres-Or was staking all by itself, but due to the fact that they were first, Duffett says they had the chance of picking up the highest priority targets.
To date, the company has drilled six holes on the western side of the kimberlite, and will continue its delineation drill program as weather conditions permit.
Duffett says she would like to explore the eastern side of the pipe, which will be possible as they received the road permit in mid-January, allowing them access to the eastern side of the property.
In the southern portion of Temagami, extensive airborne magnetic surveys were performed, as well as sampling for kimberlite indicator minerals (KIM). With the discovery of a diamond-in-till in that area, there are many high-priority geophysical targets they are proving up to drill over the winter, Duffett says.
Tres-Or renewed their Historic Diamond Agreement with Timiskaming First Nation last September. A Memorandum of Understanding was signed, which renewed and confirmed the working relationship between Tres-Or and the First Nation on mineral exploration and development within traditional territorial lands in the Temagami/Timiskaming regions.
Besides the ongoing exploration of the Lapointe kimberlite, the company's focus will be on the Temagami south project. Tres-Or will be investing $1.6 million for its 2006 budget.
Duffett says all that money goes into the ground and they hire locally, supporting the Temiskaming economy.
By ADELLE LARMOUR
Northern Ontario Business
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|Title Annotation:||SPECIAL REPORT: TEMISKAMING & REGION|
|Publication:||Northern Ontario Business|
|Date:||Feb 1, 2006|
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