Exploration Licence (E80/5027) is an uncontested application owned 100% by Jindalee and covering the Aries kimberlite cluster, including the Aries, Athena, Helena and Persephone diamondiferous kimberlite pipes (“Aries Project”). E80/5027 is considered highly prospective for gem quality diamonds.
The Aries Project is located in the Kimberley region of Western Australia, approximately 270km east of Derby and 230km west of the Argyle diamond mine (refer Figure 1). The Aries kimberlite pipe was discovered in 1986 by Triad Minerals, in joint venture with Freeport, with subsequent exploration undertaken by companies including Thundelarra, BHP Billiton Minerals and United Kimberley Diamonds (“UKD”).
In 2005 UKD undertook bulk testing on several kimberlite pipes at the Project, recovering a total of 22.5 carats of diamonds from 2,169 tonnes of treated material. UKD noted that “although the diamonds are of gem quality and the pipes are significantly diamondiferous, these kimberlites are not considered to be economic at this time (due to low grade (carats per hundred tonnes) not quality)”.
In 2006 UKD changed its name to United Minerals Corporation (ASX: UMC) as its emphasis shifted to bulk commodities, primarily bauxite in the Kimberley region and iron ore in the Pilbara, although the company retained a Mining Lease (M80/329) over the Aries kimberlite cluster. United Minerals Corporation subsequently discovered a high grade iron ore deposit abutting BHP’s Area C mining operations. In October 2009 BHP announced a takeover for United Minerals Corporation and M80/329 was surrendered in November 2009.
WA Department of Mines and Petroleum records indicate that negligible work has been undertaken on the Aries Project since November 2009.
The Aries Project covers a number of kimberlite pipes containing gem quality diamonds. Although significant exploration was undertaken in the period from 1986 to 2005 Jindalee believes that there is very good potential to find additional diamondiferous pipes and alluvial diamond deposits in the area. Jindalee has commenced compiling the historical data and looks forward to commencing work as soon as E80/5027 is granted.