Vancouver based junior Diamond Fields International, which has been mining marine diamonds off the coast of Namibia, has also undertaken exploration on the Valozoro nickel laterite deposit located 60 kilometres north of the town of Fianarantsoa in south central Madagascar.

This year, Diamond Fields completed a channel sampling program of 424 prospecting pits at Valozoro, logged and sampled at half metre intervals. The 5,149 samples collated by the programme were being analysed at the Als Chemex laboratory in Johannesburg, in May.

Pit sampling

Pit Sampling at Valozoro.

The programme was designed to enable the estimation of a measured resource in terms of National Instrument 43-101, and allow the construction and delineation of an ore body model to produce a mine development plan.

In addition, the company completed a baseline environmental management programme report of the concession, which was submitted to the government of Madagascar to upgrade the status of the license from a PRE status to an R license that will expire in 2018. Last year Diamond Fields acquired 100% of the exploration rights to the Valozoro nickel property and these are valid until May 2011.

During 1956 and 1957, UGINE completed an extensive prospecting program on this site and reported an estimated resource of 3.7 million tonnes of lateritic ore (derived from an altered peridotite host) grading 1.75% nickel containing 65,000 tonnes of contained nickel metal. This is a historical resource estimate and a Qualified Person has not done sufficient work to classify the historical estimate as current mineral resources or mineral reserves under National Instrument 43-101.