Delrand Resources Limited holds prospecting licences (PRs) in Kasai-Occidental province in the south-central part of the DRC. These permits are either wholly-owned by Delrand or held through option agreements with the permit holders. The location of these permits from a geological point of view is highly significant because they lie within the highly prospective "Kimberlite Emplacement Corridor" which extends northeastward from the rich diamonds areas of the Lunda Norte Province in Angola. Central to the fields in Angola are many diamondiferous kimberlites that are mined or have been mined in the past, such as Catoca, Camafuca Camazambo, Chiri, Camatchia, Camutue, Camagico and Caxeipa. In 2010 Angola produced 8.4 mcts to a value of US$980 million of which 6.5mcts were derived from the Catoca mine. In the same year the DRC produced some 20.2 mcts to a value of US$174 million (Kimberley Process Global Summary Database), with the highest value diamonds coming from the Tshikapa triangle. The diamonds in Tshikapa are all mined out of alluvial deposits and no kimberlites have been found there to date.
The Company believes that the Tshikapa area holds the greatest promise for finding economic diamond-bearing kimberlites in the DRC. The area has produced well over 100 million carats of diamonds and the results from the stream samples taken in the area indicate that abundant kimberlitic indicators are present. It has further been established that not all of these are abraded and hence that certain populations of grains are not far removed from their primary source(s). In addition, the chemistry of these minerals (with a high percentage G10 garnets for instance) suggests that they have been derived from mineralized kimberlites.
The Company has covered almost 9,000 km² in this highly prospective area around Tshikapa with detailed stream sampling and airborne geophysics. It has retained 1,429 km² of the most prospective ground with very encouraging geophysical and sampling targets. The Company has applied its aggressive approach to turn over ground and only retain those areas that are likely to host kimberlites.
During 2007, the Company collected 303 prospecting samples and completed a 32,000 line kilometre airborne geophysical survey. The resulting data produced several promising magnetic targets associated with unabraded kimberlite minerals recovered from the stream samples. Artisanal workings close to some of these targets not only produce alluvial diamonds but also have abundant garnets and ilmenites with fresh surface textures associated with them suggesting that these grains are proximal to their source(s).
In 2008, the Company purchased a man portable core drill rig capable of drilling down to 300 metres and began drilling in June 2008, initially focused on sanitizing areas for relinquishment purposes by law due during the last quarter of this year. Of the 12 holes drilled between June and September, two holes intersected ironstone, three intersected late stage granites and two went into grano-diorites. The final three holes intersected volcanic breccia of possible ultra-basic origin. However, the prospecting operations were subsequently suspended due to the global financial issues.
As a result of the economic downturn and as a cost saving measure, the Company significantly reduced its activities in the DRC for most of 2009 and 2010. The Company has retained the most prospective permits and in 2011 has 1,429km² under licence.
During the second half of 2011 Delrand started a follow-up stream program over certain of the permit areas, which has just been completed.
Several licences were also taken out in the Wamba drainage basin, located between the Kwango River and Tshikapa, where diamonds and kimberlitic minerals have been reported. Stream sampling has confirmed isolated kimberlite targets. The Company has retained its position in the Wamba drainage and will be evaluating its next steps there.