While out on North Arrow's Mel diamond property on Nunavut's remote Melville Peninsula, prospectors made a welcome discovery: a 62 kilogram surface sample of diamond bearing kimberlite.
The sample returned 23 small diamonds — "micro-diamonds," as North Arrow Minerals Inc. president and CEO Ken Armstrong put it.
"But it's a very good start," Armstrong said. "Typically when you find one kimberlite then there's a very good shot that there could be more. The next stage will be drilling to try and see how big that particular kimberlite [is] and then plan to try and find more."
Following the discovery of the diamond bearing kimberlite last summer, North Arrow Minerals Inc. this week announced it had expanded its Mel diamond project claim from 7,500 hectares to 56,075 hectares, or 560 square kilometres.
The company plans to be back at Mel this summer to set up a six week exploration camp to drill the kimberlite, as well as a few other zones over a 15 square kilometre area of the property.
Armstrong says they are confident diamond bearing kimberlites are there.
But some questions remain.
"Are there enough of them, are they big enough, are there enough diamonds present to warrant further work?"
The Mel project is about about 140 kilometres south of Hall Beach and 210 kilometres northeast of Naujaat, and approximately 18 kilometres inland from the coast.
The work this summer will be camp-based with a crew of about ten.
But North Arrow Minerals Inc. is also progressing on another Nunavut diamond project closer to Naujaat. So close, locals who work on the project are able to drive back and forth from the hamlet for work everyday, while the company rents housing right in town.
"It's unique, in Nunavut, to be able to work from a community so that our local employees are able to go home at night, have dinner with their families and sleep in their own beds," Armstrong said.
Armstrong said he liked the potential for the Naujaat project and expects results from a 200 tonne bulk sample of kimberlite made last summer to arrive within a couple of weeks.
North Arrow Minerals Inc.is a Canadian junior exploration company with projects in Nunavut, the N.W.T., Saskatchewan, Ontario and Quebec.