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Pele, DeBeers strike partnership (9/03)

The future looks sparkling for Wawa.
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The future looks sparkling for Wawa.

Pele Mountain Resources, a Toronto-based junior diamond exploration firm, has struck a joint-venture agreement with De Beers Canada to determine whether an economical diamond mine for the Wawa area is a possibility.

“It’s the best possible partner you could hope for in this business,” says Pele president Al Shefsky, who has been carefully cultivating a relationship with the South African diamond giant since acquiring the property three years ago.

“They’ve got all the experience in the world. They have the technical expertise and financial resources. They’ll give this property the best chance it could possibly have if there’s a mine out there.”

The 101-square-kilometre Festival property, owned by Pele, is located 25 kilometres north of Wawa and just a few kilometres east from the Trans Canada Highway. The junior made headlines last winter when they produced a 0.72 carat white gem quality diamond. It was one of 160 other commercial-size diamonds recovered during its winter drilling program.

The deal should speed up exploration activity this summer at Pele’s Festival property. De Beers plans to take 300 tonnes of bulk sampling by year’s end. Plans are underway to discuss an aggressive exploration program to map out the resource.

Under the agreement, De Beers will spend $25 million in the joint venture to earn a 51 per cent participating interest in the Festival property. Pele has maintained the right to carry out its prospecting, exploration and development work.