Pleasant Hill, California (EastBayDaily) — In 2009, after working in the Amazon and in Honduras, Yeager set his sights on the alluvial and kimberlite fields of Sierra Leone and West Africa. Now, almost five years later, Yeager is ready to try his hand at searching for diamonds in the unexplored regions of northeast Sierra Leone. This time, he aims to follow indicator minerals from a previous expedition to their source. The exploration work Yeager has conducted in Sierra Leone since 2010 has focused on defining both alluvial and kimberlite diamond deposits within the Koinadugu region that borders Guinea.
Yeager will begin his diamond exploration project in the northeast region of Sierra Leone. For the upcoming expedition, the junior explorer has scheduled a four-week project that will include collecting approximately 200 bulk samples to help define kimberlite indicator mineral trains. In 2010, the Koinadugu exploration project confirmed that the area was a good prospect for the discovery of not only alluvial diamonds but also diamond-bearing kimberlites.
“It’s a geologist’s dream to find a diamond pipe,” explained Yeager, “and with so few new discoveries, how long do we have before they are all mined out?” Although cutting-edge science and sophisticated technology are available, the industry remains reliant on traditional mining expertise to locate diamonds. Yeager stated, “I am extremely concerned about the future of diamond exploration; during the Canadian rush, diamond geologists were everywhere, and now it seems like I am one of the last individuals physically doing field work in the remote, unexplored regions.”
Past exploration in the region undertaken by Yeager involved the excavation of bulk sample pits that were systematically excavated at various locations along the Baffi River. Yeager’s exploration work demonstrated that at least two types of placers exist, including modern flood- and classic paleo-channels. The exploration bulk samples targeted a variety of alluvial deposits present in the area (e.g., alluvial flood plains, high terraces, and low terraces). Yeager and his team processed this material through a 50-TPH gravity-separation diamond plant that was supplied by Savana Mining Equipment (a US-based company).
For the upcoming diamond exploration program, a new state-of-the-art, portable gravity plant from Savana Mining has been commissioned. It will significantly improve the throughput and efficiency of the in-the-field alluvial and kimberlite sampling.
Wyatt Yeager is widely respected in the diamond and gemstone mining industry. Having been a successful consultant on exploration programs throughout Africa and South America, he has created a new standard for diamond dredging equipment and techniques. He also has established a blog (diamonddredge.com) where he frequently offers advice on diamond mining and dredging.