Perth, April 25, 2006 AEST (ABN Newswire) - Petra Diamonds Limited (ASX: PDL) (LSE: PDL) ('Petra' or 'the Company'), the AIM-quoted and ASX-listed diamond mining group, announces an update with regards to the Alto Cuilo project ('Alto Cuilo') in north-eastern Angola.
- Alto Cuilo's potential as a major diamond project is further substantiated, with the estimated surface area of kimberlitic occurrences increasing to approximately 1,437 hectares (15 March 2006: 1,323)
- 38 kimberlitic occurrences (15 March 2006: 33) now confirmed by drilling
- Third core drill rig to arrive on site this month - two months ahead of schedule - to further accelerate the rate of discoveries and information flow
- 412 alluvial pits (15 March 2006: 350) completed
Kimberlite Exploration Programme
Since the Company's last update on 15 March 2006 within the Interim Results Statement, solid exploration progress has been made at Alto Cuilo, with a further increase in the estimated surface area of kimberlitic occurrences toapproximately 1,437 hectares.
Ongoing drilling of the anomalies identified by the Midas low level helicopter aeromagnetic survey has now resulted in the identification of a further 5 kimberlitic occurrences with an estimated surface area of approximately 114 hectares. This takes the total to 38 kimberlitic occurrences with an estimated surface area of approximately 1,437 hectares, a significant increase over the results reported by the Company on 15 March 2006. Drilling in excess of 19,196 metres on 140 holes has been undertaken to date, with 104 of these holes intersecting kimberlitic material, a success rate of 74%.
The estimated surface area of the kimberlitic occurrences is based on the interpretation of the magnetic anomalies identified, together with analysis of drilling results.
The third core drill rig, which will serve to further accelerate the rate of discoveries and information flow, is now expected to arrive on site earlier than expected, in April 2006, two months ahead of schedule. The large diameter drill rig and 10 tonne per hour sample plant remain on track for delivery in June 2006.
Alluvial Exploration Programme
The alluvial pitting and trenching programme continues in order to further evaluate the potential for economically viable alluvial deposits, with 412 pits already completed. An economic feasibility study is underway on an area of specific interest.
Adonis Pouroulis, Chairman of Petra, comments 'We are making rapid progress in the evaluation and development of Alto Cuilo, working alongside our joint venture partner BHP Billiton, and this process will be further accelerated by the arrival of the additional drill rig this month. We continue to be excited by the large scale of kimberlitic discoveries on site, which demonstrate the major potential of the project.'
1. The information in this update that relates to Exploration Results, Mineral Resources or Ore Reserves is based on information compiled by Jim Davidson, Pr. Sci Nat (reg No 400031/06), who is a Member of the Geological Society of South Africa, a 'Recognised Overseas Professional Organisation' ('ROPO'), included in a list promulgated by the ASX from time to time. Jim Davidson is a full-time employee of the Company and has sufficient experience which is relevant to the style of mineralisation and type of deposit under consideration and to the activity which he is undertaking to qualify as a Competent Person as defined in the 2004 Edition of the 'Australasian Code for Reporting of Exploration Results, Mineral Resources and Ore Reserves'. Jim Davidson has given his written consent to the inclusion in this announcement of the matters based on his information in the form and context in which it appears.
2. It should be noted that the potential quantity in this report is conceptual in nature, there has been insufficient exploration to define a Mineral Resource and it is uncertain if further exploration will result in the determination of a Mineral Resource.