TORONTO (miningweekly.com) – TSX Venture Exchange-listed Shear Diamonds has approved an initial $4,6-million budget for the first phase of work at its Jericho diamond project, with drilling to begin in early April.
The company's plans for this year are to prove up and expand the current resource at Jericho, explore for new diamondiferous kimberlites around the mine and start work on determining whether the operation is economically feasible, with a new NI 43-101-compliant resource.
The firm will also work on renewing the water licence and other permits and leases.
Shear bought the shuttered Jericho mine last year. The project was the first and only diamond mine built in the Nunavut territory to date and started up in 2006.
But owner Tahera Diamond Corp struggled to turn a profit, and eventually sought bankruptcy protection in January 2008, before putting the mine into care-and-maintenance in June that year.
"Our entire team at Shear has worked very hard these past months to design and develop the strategies needed to best understand and upgrade the known resources at Jericho,” Shear CEO Pamela Strand said on Monday.
Shear has hired Mineral Services Canada to help with developing a new geological model for Jericho, the company said.
Before it closed, the Jericho mine produced 786 00 ct of gem-quality diamonds , including more than 1 100 stones greater than 10 ct.