New Nadina delays mini-bulk test - Street Wire
New Nadina Explorations Ltd. will defer a mini-bulk test of its Monument kimberlites until 2010 and will spend the spring and summer drilling, says its president, Ellen Clements. New Nadina and its partners have more sparkle after finding some new kimberlites last year, but they will need larger tests to prove or kill the play on the south shore of Lac de Gras in the Northwest Territories. That work will have to wait a year, but Ms. Clements says New Nadina and its partners will spend well over $1-million this year leading up to a larger effort in 2010.
In a Jan. 7 news release, New Nadina said it found encouraging quantities of diamonds in the Sparky, DD39, Gemini, Sonja and Trio pipes, with a small test of the Genie pipe proving less promising. The numbers of stones in the series of small, possibly attached pipes is modest, averaging just under 500 diamonds per tonne. Meanwhile, the size distribution of the parcel is coarse, with a few macro-sized gems contributing much of the weight of the parcels.
That combination makes assessing the diamond grades impossible without larger tests. Ms. Clements has been touting plans for a mini-bulk sample this year for some time, spurred on by her company's partners, Dr. Chris Jennings and Dr. Stewart Blusson's Archon Minerals Ltd.
Ms. Clements said she applied for the required approvals too late to get the needed permits to do the work this year, but the always optimistic voice of New Nadina called the delay a blessing in disguise. That seems an overly rosy spin as shareholders will now have to rely on faith for yet another year, but the Monument partners plan to use the time to improve their sampling plan.
New Nadina plans to complete auger drilling in the area to assess the water content of the overburden. Much of the area is boggy, especially when it rains, and that could present problems. The original plan for a mini-bulk test called for New Nadina to bring in an excavator as the pipes lie under less than seven metres of overburden. The auger drilling could save the partners the embarrassment of digging up several metres of soil and gravel, just to have the material replaced by a rush of water.
Ms. Clements said the partners would also check into the possibility of using a reverse circulation drill to collect a mini-bulk test. That would solve any water issues, but the big rigs are costly to move and run. As a result, New Nadina would be facing a multimillion-dollar budget.
The delay will also give the partners another crack at finding a bigger and better pipe, and to better assess the current finds. Ms. Clements said the 2009 core drilling program would be split between testing new targets, and delineation drilling of the existing pipes. The drilling will start in spring on a series of lake-based targets at the northern end of the Monument cluster, then proceed southward to the land-based anomalies.
So far, none of the diamond counts from the several pipes on the property appear to be materially different. New Nadina has tested over seven tonnes of rock from at least 10 kimberlites, and the rock produced diamonds at a rate of nearly 500 stones per tonne.
The entire 3,500-stone parcel likely weighs just over three carats, with about three-quarters of the weight contained in the 45 gems recovered on a 0.85-millimetre sieve. The partners have two diamonds that weigh a total of nearly 0.64 carat, but the probable grade of the pipes are still subject to huge margins of error. The partners are optimistic the best bodies will average over one-half carat per tonne, but only a substantial mini-bulk test will prove the point.
New Nadina closed up two cents to 16 cents Wednesday on 30,500 shares.