Shares in diamond junior North Arrow Minerals (TSXV: NAR) jumped nearly 40% today on diamond results from its Pikoo project in central Saskatchewan.
The company reported that a 209.7-kg sample from the PK150 kimberlite at Pikoo returned 745 diamonds larger than the 0.106-mm sieve size, with 23 stones being larger than the 0.85-mm sieve size (commercial size).
Together, the commercial-sized diamonds weigh 0.28 carat.
All of the stones recovered have similar characteristics: More than 95% are intact white octahedrons and aggregates with lesser macles.
The core came from three holes drilled at PK150, which was discovered in July. PK150 is interpreted as a 10 to 15-metre-wide hypabyssal kimberlite body extending for 75 metres of strike length. The kimberlite is open at depth and along strike.
“To recover such relatively high counts of +0.85 mm diamonds from the first kimberlite discovered at Pikoo is an exceptional result and establishes Pikoo and the northern Sask Craton as a new diamond district in Canada,” said North Arrow president and CEO Ken Armstrong in a press release.
By early afternoon, North Arrow shares climbed 15¢ to 54¢ on the news.
On a conference call, Armstrong noted that the find represents an entirely new area for diamonds in Canada.
“To find a new kimberlite field with diamond counts like these is very rare – it doesn’t happen very often.”
Despite representing a new diamond area, Pikoo is relatively accessible. The 330-sq.-km project is located 140 km east of La Ronge, Sask., and within 10 km of Saskatchewan Highway 911 and power infrastructure.
Armstrong credited Stornoway Diamond (TSX: SWY) with the heavy lifting at the project. With its 10-hole, 2,000-metre drill program this summer, North Arrow has earned an 80% interest in Pikoo from Stornoway, which generated the project. North Arrow signed a deal to option several Stornoway projects in March.
Stornoway has the option to earn back 20% of Pikoo (for a total of 40%) by paying back North Arrow three times its exploration costs. It must notify North Arrow within 60 days of the junior vesting its interest.
North Arrow completed a $5.5-million financing last week, largely to fund a mini-bulk sample at the more advanced Qilalugaq project in Nunavut – another Stornoway project.
In addition, the company has an option to earn a 55% stake in Arctic Star Exploration’s (TSXV: ADD) Redemption project in the Northwest Territories, and holds the Lac de Gras project south of Diavik, where Dominion Diamond (TSX: DDC; NYSE: DDC) is earning a 55% stake.
“We think today’s news really validates our corporate strategy,” Armstrong said on the call. Over the past year, the company has amassed a stable of diamond projects that have already seen significant investment.
The junior has 42 million shares outstanding, which has traded in a 52-week range of 20¢-75¢.