Arctic Star’s Buddy Doyle: The Man Behind the Redwood Discovery
In 2021, Arctic Star Exploration Corp. (TSXV: ADD) made a major diamond discovery that could potentially change the dynamics of the Northwest Territories diamond industry. The discovery did not happen by chance.
Diamonds were first discovered by geologists Chuck Fipke and Stewart Blusson near Lac de Gras, Northwest Territories in the 1990s, and the two largest were the prolific Ekati mines (1998) and Diavik (2003). These two mines produced over 68 million and 100 million carats of diamonds respectively. And they are largely responsible for enabling Canada to become the third largest diamond producer in the world.
BHP and later owners Ekati, and Rio Tinto, which controls Diavik, have claimed most of the land surrounding the mines. This discouraged other exploration companies from working in the area. Yet after the original discovery of Dia Met Minerals by Fipke and Blusson, more than 200 companies staked claims in all directions around Lac de Gras and beyond, hoping to find more kimberlite fields economically. viable. Most of these companies found nothing and ended up leaving the Northwest Territories. The common assumption became that outside of areas controlled by the majors, the chances of finding mineable diamonds were not good.
Luckily for Arctic Star, the company’s chief geologist, Buddy Doyle, had been the lead geologist for a Rio Tinto subsidiary, Kennecott Canada, and its exploration team when it made the Diavik discovery in 1992. Working in tandem with world-renowned diamond geologist Chris Jennings, who initially helped determine the best location for diamonds in the Northwest Territories, Doyle is said to have identified the precise drill targets that became the basis for the discovery. Ekati from Dia Met. The following year, Mr. Doyle made the discovery of Diavik. And the rest is history.
As noted, once Ekati and Diavik became producing mines, much of the exploration activity waned and the various geologists turned to other endeavors. Doyle, however, still believed that the Lac de Gras region had other hidden gems waiting to be discovered. He benefited from years of experience and knowledge accumulated through years of exploration work in the Northwest Territories. And in the time since the major discoveries, exploration methods and technologies have improved dramatically. This has allowed geologists to conduct more profitable and efficient exploration activities, especially in inhospitable environments like the Canadian Far North.
Mr. Doyle and his team used non-magnetic techniques and extensive geochemistry to identify potential kimberlites on Arctic Star’s Diagras property. They followed the pattern of diamond indicator minerals, known as the “scatter train.” These indicator minerals often portend the presence of kimberlite pipes, which can be found in clusters or clumps that can extend up to 100 kilometers.
In 2021, the company conducted a small ground sampling program based on surface geophysical mapping and discovered 5 kimberlites. Two commercial grade diamonds were recovered. More importantly, the results of caustic fusion (the diamond assay method) of the samples revealed that all of the kimberlites discovered during the spring 2021 drilling program contained diamonds. The large Sequoia kimberlite, whose geophysical signature was 1,000 meters long and 300 meters wide, had a significant number of diamonds compared to its immediate area, including the Jack Pine kimberlite, which is a historic kimberlite from De Beers. The Sequoia kimberlite is the largest kimberlite in the Lac de Gras region, according to Doyle.
Doyle is particularly pleased that caustic fusion analysis of the Sequoia samples showed that approximately 50% of the diamonds in the Sequoia samples are a type 2 nitrogen-free population. These diamonds are highly sought after in the diamond market, with only around 2% of diamonds found worldwide being type 2.
“The presence of a significant proportion of Type IIa diamonds in caustic fusion samples from the Sequoia kimberlite complex is another source of evidence for the potential to host over 50 ct of high value diamonds, supported by the chemistry of the collaborative indicator and the relatively coarse, low-gradient diamond. size distribution. Finally, SRC describes all diamonds as clear and white, which is unusual because most kimberlites have a mixture with a high percentage of boart.Boyle commented at the time of the announcement. If these results are indicative of what could be found over much of the Diagras property, it could greatly improve the valuation of the project.
The most recent drill core from the company’s spring 2022 drill program has been sent to the lab for caustic fusion analysis, and Arctic Star expects results to be delivered in the very near future. These results will provide Doyle and his team with a clearer picture of Sequoia’s true potential.
Arctic Star last traded at $0.085 on the TSX Venture Exchange.
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