RJK Explorations Ltd (CVE:RJX.A) Searching for Source of 800-Karat Yellow Diamond
RJK Explorations Ltd. (CVE:RJX.A) (OTCMKTS:RJKAF) Director Robert Mackay joins Midas Letter to discuss expanding the company’s drill targets in search for the source of the 800-Karat Yellow Nipissing Diamond on its Bishop Claims near Cobalt, Ontario. Cobalt has a rich history in mining – originally known as the Silver Capital of Canada. That was until the Nipissing yellow diamond was discovered. RJK Exploration have setup subduction zones located below the claims, which is an ideal geological setting for type IIa diamonds, the largest diamonds in the world. Watch the full interview to learn more about the source of the yellow diamond and specifics on the project.
James West: Robert Mackay joins me now. He’s a Director of RJK Explorations. Robert, welcome.
Robert Mackay: Thank you.
James West: Robert, in a nutshell, RJK Explorations has changed from a focus on gold to a focus on diamonds. Can you describe the process by which that happened, please?
Robert Mackay: Yes. Glen Kasner, who I’ve known for 35 years, saw a little website in Kirkland Lake that referred to a diamond property south of Cobalt, Ontario. So he started reading about it, and he remembered the prospector that his kids had played soccer with the prospector’s kids growing up. So he contacted him, and that was in August of ’18.
James West: 1818?
Robert Mackay: No. [laughter] Sorry, 2018.
James West: Oh, 2 – okay.
Robert Mackay: And worked with him till February, and convinced him to join with RJK, and option the property.
James West: Okay.
Robert Mackay: And that’s when I got involved, because I read about the acquisition of the Bishop claims and the search for the Nipissing Diamond. And I immediately remembered my geology professor at the Haileybury School of Mines, Dan Atchison, saying that he always hoped that somebody from the mining school would find the source of the 800-karat diamond.
So I phoned my brother, who was also a graduate of the mining school, and he remembered that. And then I talked to Glen Kasner, and he remembers Atchison saying that. So then I sent four geologists at the prospector’s convention last year, to see Glen, and to see what they thought of this. Two of them had worked in diamond exploration, one was an analyst and another one was a Director of my last company. And they all came back with glowing reports, wonderful people, honest, very good research.
And so that’s when I realized why Glen did the deal, because the leverage to discovery was enormous. If you find the source of an 800-karat diamond in a mining camp, that will create tremendous excitement, and people that own the company will get – will make a lot of money.
James West: Sure. Okay, and so, the 800-karat Nipissing Diamond was found what year?
Robert Mackay: Okay, it was found between 1903 and 1905.
James West: And what happened to it?
Robert Mackay: It was found by somebody in that region, and it ended up with a very famous prospector and a settler, Father Paradis. And he made a drawing of it, and he was a very accomplished artist, and there’s a drawing of an 800-karat diamond, pen and ink, beside a Buffalo US $0.05 piece.
And so he was, in our research, we found that he was related to the MP at the time for the Nipissing District that went all the way up to Hudson’s Bay, and that fellow’s name was Alphonse Obain (phon).
James West: Okay.
Robert Mackay: And he acquired the diamond, brought it to the legislature here in Toronto, showed it around, brought it to Montreal, got it authenticated, and then personally brought it to Tiffany’s in New York to get it cut. And so Tiffany’s sent a crew up in 1906 to look for the source of the 800 karat yellow diamond. And then the trail gets cold.
Cobalt was booming for silver, nobody really knew how to explore for diamonds, and so it went till 1995, when the diamond rush was going on full-blast in Canada. Dr. Keith Barron did some research, and he did all the original research and found the newspaper articles, the mining journal articles, the jeweler’s articles, and he went up there and started looking for the source of the diamond, also.
And then of course the Bre-Ex happened and money dried up, and so it went cold again until 2014, when the prospector decided, Tony Bishop, decided to look for the source of the 800-karat diamond because he had met Dr. Keith Barron in 1995, because Keith had come to see Tony about small-scale cluster mining.
So in 2014, Tony started to do all of the exploration work, self-taught, learning how to process indicator minerals, which are the size of a grain of pepper. And so he built his own lab, learned how to process them, and discovered that, in fact, what he was looking – the area where he was looking – had all of the indications that’s there kimberlites there.
James West: Kimberlites being?
Robert Mackay: Being the host rock for diamonds. And so geologically, it’s the perfect place for diamonds. De Beers was looking since 1962 in the area; they were there for over 20 years, from ’62 till 1985, looking for the same thing we’re looking for. They’re back again, and they’re there very aggressively, now.
James West: Okay. Looking in the same property that you’re looking?
Robert Mackay: No, looking in the same area.
James West: I see.
Robert Mackay: So, when we acquired the ground from Tony, we realized that these diamonds could be, you know, if they’re on the next person’s property, we could be close but it’s not going to do our shareholders any good.
James West: Right.
Robert Mackay: So we went quiet, and we acquired all of the ground in Cobalt. All of the, we brought in top geophysicists, geochemists, taking a look at everything that we’d found, the geophysics, the geology, and we realized that we wanted to, we had to acquire all of the ground.
So fortunately, all of that ground had been acquired during the cobalt boom, and when the cobalt boom collapsed, so did the excitement about working in Cobalt, looking for cobalt. So we were able to do very good deals for our shareholders with very little money, to acquire the rights for the whole camp.
James West: You’ve located kimberlite pipes?
Robert Mackay: Yes.
James West: Not dykes, pipes?
Robert Mackay: Pipes.
James West: Okay, and so, the next step is to drill some holes?
Robert Mackay: Yes. We drilled the dyke, it was about 3 metres wide on surface, and we drilled about 15 metres of true width at depth. We put one hole in just to test the magnetic susceptibility, because that helps us identify other targets in the area with the magnetism.
So there was another target about 400 metres south of that, about 200 metres, perfectly round target. Magnetic low. And so we put a vertical hole into it and an angled hole into it, and hit kimberlite. And so it’s the first true, new discovery of kimberlite ever in the Cobalt camp. There’s been, there have been lamperfere (phon) diamonds and lamperferes, but for an actual kimberlite, this is the first time it’s ever been drilled.
So it starts to prove up our theory that indeed, the geology is right; the environment has always been right for in placement of kimberlites, because they come up through the same fault systems and cracks in the earth’s crust that the 600 million ounces of silver came up.
James West: Just for comparison’s sake, the Diavik Mine in the Northwest Territories, which has produced how many hundreds of millions worth of diamonds, that’s all from one pipe, correct?
Robert Mackay: No, no, no. All of these big mines come in clusters. The Diavik, one open pit is actually two pipes, and they’re currently looking at opening up another one.
James West: Okay. So what’s next for this project?
Robert Mackay: So next is to continue drilling on the con properties. We’re almost licensed over on the Bishop claims, so we’ve got two parallel targets that we’re going to be working on this winter. So we’ll be working right through till May; I think we’ll be drilling between 15 and 20 targets this winter, and once we get enough data and enough core to give a good representative sample of the cluster, we’ll be sending that away for caustic fusion analysis.
James West: Okay, well, that’s great. So there’s lots coming. We’ll leave it there for now and come back to you soon. Thank you very much for joining us today.
Robert Mackay: Thank you.
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