Claims staked by diamond exploration companies suggest diamonds may exist near Maple Creek Saskatchewan
Diamonds in the Bluffs?
Claims staked by diamond exploration companies suggest high likelihood the precious gems exist near Maple Creek
August 8, 2017
NEWS PHOTO DOMINIQUE LIBOIRON
Diamond Projects Inc. has staked mining claims covering 400,000 acres south of the Cypress Hills with an eye on making a diamond discovery.
Maple Creek News
Diamonds are that one gem everyone wants.
Some of us hope to buy one for a significant other one day, while some of us yearn to receive one.
But most of us also tend to see diamonds as something far away, something to strive for.
So, it could come as quite a surprise to some in Maple Creek that the most precious of precious stones might just be in their proverbial own backyard.
According to Sean Spelliscy of Diamond Projects, a subsidiary of Gem Oil, Stornoway Diamond Corporation recently staked a claim to an area south of Maple Creek, about 25 kms down Highway 271.
It isn’t known what methods the company used to identify the area as a possible diamond source, but Spelliscy says they don’t stake claims unless they have solid evidence to do so.
“(Stornoway) found a commodity there of something potentially valuable,” says Spelliscy, a 30-year veteran of resource exploration. “
So, they found some indication that a resource exists.
And these aren’t your garden-variety explorers, they are the best there are.
“They recently found the Pikoo Diamond Field in north-central Saskatchewan, which is an amazingly rich small deposit.
The Stornoway team is second to none, so that’s very encouraging, not only to Maple Creek but to the entire province.”
Diamonds are found in an igneous rock called kimberlite, formed as chimneys of magma cool down following volcanic eruptions, which the trusty Internet says exists aplenty in Siberia and South Africa.
Apparently, Stornoway thinks there is also kimberlite in southwest Saskatchewan.
Spelliscy says his company has been actively exploring for diamond in Saskatchewan since about 1990, staking claim to finding the Star kimberlite, found at Fort à la Corne east of Prince Albert in central Saskatchewan.
The Star is the largest diamondiferous kimberlite in the world and currently being explored by mining giant Rio Tinto under option from Shore Gold Inc.
He says diamond giant De Beers had been looking for diamonds in south Saskatchewan for decades, and was rumoured to have once found a small kimberlite pipe near Gergovia, 170 kms southeast of Maple Creek.
Speculative mining capital was scared off in mid-90s by a scandal involving a former penny stock company called Bre-X, which announced what turned out to be a fraudulent discovery that sent the small company’s total capitalization to more than $6 billion.
The scandal made risk capital hard to come by and Spelliscy says the claims near Maple Creek were all but forgotten.
Now suddenly, activity has resurfaced.
Spelliscy says his company staked a few claims in the area back in February 2017 based on a report by geophysical interpreter Laurie Reed, and now Stornoway’s claims all but confirm something is there worth getting serious about.
“Across the border in Montana, there’s always been a few diamonds showing up (among the gold),” Spelliscy says.
“So, there has always been the idea of diamonds (in this area), and I’ve talked to a lot of diamond exploration professionals who have always sort of been intrigued by the possibility if southern Saskatchewan.”
Southern Saskatchewan sits on the Wyoming Craton, a section of the earth’s crust where Spelliscy says kimberlites have been found before, specifically referring to a past group found in Montana.
He says a lot of variables have to be in place for diamond to be formed, such as what temperatures were in place close to the surface when volcanic eruptions occurred.
If those were not cool enough, the kimberlites would not be able to preserve their diamonds, and the diamond would turn to carbon.
“But the main thing is finding the right rock. If you find the right rock, which is the kimberlite, then you have to test it.”
An advantage to this area, as opposed to exploration in northern Saskatchewan for example, is the easy access.
Spelliscy says the simple existence of roads can cut the costs in half, adding to the viability of any search.
“If you can truck everything in … your costs will just whittle down, which is great. It’s the ultimate place in the world to find something.”
And if that something is diamonds, it’s going to mean a lot more than romance for the people of southwest Saskatchewan.
The average value of a diamond mine is $11 billion US with a capital development cost of $1.7 billion US.
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