Analysis of Aim-listed Botswana Diamonds’ Free State kimberlites indicates high abundances of diamond inclusion type chemical compositions, thereby rating these kimberlites as being of high interest in terms of their diamond-bearing potential, the company said on Tuesday.
The results also indicate a prevalence of G9 and a few G10 garnets, similar to the chemical signatures present in the neighbouring iconic mines at Jagersfontein and Koffiefontein, the miner added, noting that this result supports the conclusions from the previous whole rock geochemistry and from the geophysics and justifies moving to a phased drilling programme.
“Vutomi, our associate company in South Africa, is very active. The final analyses of samples from the eight Free State kimberlites improves the prospects for the pipes containing diamonds,” chairperson John Teeling commented, noting that a drilling campaign will follow.
According to Teeling, Vutomi has been awarded a prospecting licence close to the Cullinan mine over three kimberlite pipes known to contain diamonds. He cites this as a valuable addition to the miner’s portfolio of exploration assets.
Botswana Diamonds further pointed out that Vutomi has been granted prospecting rights to Portions 1, 3, 5 and 7 of the farm Palmietgat, in Limpopo, about 50 km north of Petra’s Cullinan diamond mine.
The Palmietgat area comprises six diamondiferous kimberlite pipes of which three fall within the granted prospecting rights area, which is contiguous to the Palmietgat mine, formerly operated by Trivalence.
Trivalence extracted 63 379 ct of diamonds from Palmietgat during 2003 and 2004, valued at about $60.68/ct, or about $3.85-million, and reported resources of 3.5-million tonnes at an estimated grade of 44 carats per hundred tonnes, to a depth of 110 m for three of the kimberlites.
Meanwhile, at the Mooikloof kimberlite pipe, a group of South African businesspersons have claimed to hold a valid mining permit over a portion of the company’s fully notarised and registered prospecting right area, the miner said.
A mining permit is a short-term licence designed for small-scale mining over very small areas up to 5 ha.
Owing to South African legislation not allowing for overlapping rights, the miner has engaged the Department of Mineral Resources (DMR) to review the processes which culminated in the alleged issue of this small permit.
“Despite obtaining a fully notarised and registered prospecting right on Mooikloof from the DMR, a local company claims they have a mining permit over 5 ha of the property. We believe that our title is clear and will provide further updates regarding the claim as appropriate,” Teeling said.