THE search for a new diamond mine in the North Kimberley by Striker Resources has gained momentum with the appointment of former Ashton diamond exploration experts to senior positions.Helix Resources and Lion Selection Group chairman Ewen Tyler has been named chairman at Striker following the resignation of Tim Mainprize. Appointed as a director is Bill Duchatel, while Tom Reddicliffe joins the company as exploration manager.Striker managing director Clayton Dodd says the appointment of the three former senior Ashton members was made easier by Rio Tinto’s takeover of Ashton.“It wasn’t until Ashton was taken over by Rio Tinto that an enormous level of specialist diamond experience was released,” he says.“True diamond evaluation specialists are a rarity, especially in this country, for the simple reason no one other than Ashton has ever undertaken such an exercise and seen it through to production.”Mr Tyler was the original chairman of Argyle Diamond Mine Joint Venture, and both he and Mr Duchatel have extensive experience in Kimberley region. Both were involved in the Kimberley exploration pro-grams that led to the discovery of the Arglye and Ellendale pipes and also were involved in the Batten exploration program, which led to the discovery and eventual Merlin diamond mine, currently in production and run by Rio Tinto.Mr Reddicliffe represented the Ashton Exploration Joint Venture with Striker, which led to the discovery of two new kimberlites about three kilo-metres from Ashmore.Mr Dodd says it is the experience in diamond exploration that will enhance the company’s search for a new diamond mine.“What we lacked was high-level evaluation experience, which at the end of the day determines whether or not we have a mine,” he says.“This was no fault of our own, it’s just that such people either didn’t exist or simply weren’t available.“With Ewen Tyler, Bill Duchatel and Tom Reddicliffe on board, we have changed the way we approach our operation because they bring to Striker a high degree of expertise and methodology gained over may years that would be impossible to buy.”
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