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Diamond find builds confidence

THE recovery of a large number of diamonds has given Striker Resources NL confidence in the potential of its Beta Creek project in the Kimberley region of WA.

Processing of 5,814 tonnes of kimberlite from one of its four Ashmore pipes resulted in the recovery of 10,307 diamonds weighing 536.4 carats.

The diamonds recovered from Ashmore 2 kimberlite ranged in size from less than 0.2ct to 10ct.

The company’s quarterly report said 40 per cent of the total weight of diamonds recovered weighed over 0.2ct.

“These larger diamonds include colourless, pale blue and pale green diamonds that are free of inclusions,” Striker managing director Clayton Dodd said.

The largest undamaged diamond recovered was a 10.51ct dodecahedral stone. This is the third stone reported with a weight over 5ct.

Mr Dodd said these stones had dimensions of around ten milli-metres which is close to the aperture size of the recovery system indicating that larger stones will not be recovered from the current processing system.

An upgrade of the plant to recover larger stones is planned for the 2000 field season.

“Striker is encouraged by the results which indicate an improvement of grade with depth,” he added.

The company is developing an extension to the prefeasibility

mining program which will excavate to deeper levels in the Ashmore 2 pipe during the year.

This will determine whether the recovered grades can achieve the higher grades that were statistically predicted by an analysis of 0.3mm to 2.0 mm diamonds in RC drill samples from the upper fifty metres of the pipes.

The four pipes of the Ashmore kimberlite cluster are located within a twenty-three kilometre square area that was excluded from the Rio Tinto/Ashton joint venture on the Beta Creek/North King George Project.

Striker also reported the discovery by partners Rio Tinto Exploration Pty Limited and Ashton Mining Ltd of two new kimberlites on the farmin tenements, located three kilometres from the Ashmore pipe cluster.

One is confirmed as being diamondiferous.

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