Canadians in diamond hunt in Shinyanga By WILFRED EDWIN Special Correspondent THE EAST AFRICAN A Canadian mining giant has started exploring for diamonds in the mineral-rich Shinyanga district in northwestern Tanzania. The firm, Douglas Lake Minerals, announced last week that its partner, Canaco Resources, has initiated Phase One Exploration of the Magembe Diamond Project in Shinyanga. Canaco has started exploration to evaluate indicated diamond potential from both alluvial and kimberlite sources, said Harp Sangha, the firms chief executive officer. The mineral title to the Magembe property is owned wholly by Douglas Lake. Canaco Resources Inc has the right to take up to a 75 per cent of Douglas Lakes interest in the 46 square kilometre Magembe Diamond property through payments of cash and shares and undertaking a commitment for exploration as defined in terms of an option agreement between the two companies signed in March this year. With all the local artisanal mining activity, we believe there is considerable potential for a commercially profitable diamond mine, said Mr Sangha in a statement last week. The exploration programme will follow up on the reconnaissance scale exploration completed earlier this year. That initial work consisted of data compilation, remote sensing, geological mapping and prospecting and was successful in identifying geological environments favourable for hosting surficial and bedrock diamond deposits. The Phase One exploration programme will evaluate the concentrations of recoverable diamonds from alluvial material through systematic bulk sampling and processing. According to the company, on the northern part of the property, regional geophysical data indicate the presence of four unexplored kimberlite targets with magnetic expressions similar to the Williamson kimberlite. The property in question is located next to De Beers Williamson Mine, which is currently owned 75 per cent by De Beers and 25 per cent by the Tanzanian government. It has produced over 20 million carats since 1940. The Williamson pipe covers 360 acres, and at the time of its discovery, was considered the largest economically exploitable pipe in the world. It is renowned for being the original source of pink diamonds and has produced notable stones, including a 54 carat flawless pink diamond and a 388 carat diamond found in 1990. Douglas Lake Minerals focuses on exploring and developing gold, copper, nickel, uranium and diamond mining opportunities in Tanzania, a country with vast amounts of undeveloped mineral-rich natural resources. It explores and develops a large portfolio of prospecting concessions through royalty-based joint venture partnerships. The officer in charge at the registrar and licensing section of minerals at the Ministry of Energy and Minerals, Ally Samaje, confirmed to The EastAfrican last week that Douglas Lake Minerals holds two prospecting licenses for all minerals other than gemstones or building materials. It has for some time been exploring for gold in Mvomero and Makuyu in Morogoro region. Mr Sangha said recently that the firm was pleased with the early exploration results at Morogoro.