TORONTO (miningweekly.com) – Canadian explorer Pangolin Diamonds on Tuesday said it had unearthed high-pressure garnets that could indicate the presence of more than one diamond-bearing kimberlite pipe on its Tsabong North project, in Botswana.
The TSX-V-listed company said independent lab analysis returned a significant number of high-pressure garnets associated with the diamond stability field, which is the area of the earth’s mantle with the heat and pressure required to produce diamonds, which for the company confirmed a high exploration potential for new diamondiferous kimberlite pipes in the area.
Pangolin, which this year raised $2.17-million through an oversubscribed financing for use in this year’s exploration activities, said a microprobe analysis of a 568.5 g core sample produced 45 confirmed, mantle-derived indicator garnets. The garnets were liberated from a 61-mm-diameter core sample taken at a depth of 22 m vertically below the surface.
The drilling programme was ongoing and the company said it expected additional results “soon”. More drill-core samples would also be submitted to an independent laboratory in the coming weeks.
“Over my 30 years of diamond exploration in Botswana, I have never personally seen such a high concentration of garnets, including high-pressure garnets, in a drill core sample area of this size,” Pangolin chairperson Dr Leon Daniels said in a statement.
Pangolin said the population of garnets recovered from the drill core is akin to that of the DK2 kimberlite pipe in the Orapa kimberlite field found at the De Beers-operated Letlhakane mine.
The presence of high-pressure G9 and G1 garnets, which were elsewhere found to be associated with diamonds and diamondiferous xenoliths, together with the fresh surface textures of the observed garnets, suggested the proximity of a kimberlite, which may be diamondiferous.
Pangolin’s current drill core results were comparable to the recovered G10 garnets from soil samples in the project area, which it believed suggested there was more than one kimberlite source in the project area.
The company owned 11 prospecting licences covering 5 307 km2, including the Tsabong North, Jwaneng South, Malatswae and Mmadinare projects.
Botswana is the largest diamond-producing country in the world by value, supplying 21% of global rough diamond production. It is the location of the world’s two largest diamond mines, Jwaneng and Orapa, and four non-De Beers diamond companies operate mines there – Gem Diamonds, Firestone Diamonds, Lucara Diamond and Mantle Diamonds.
Pangolin's management and team leaders have more than 90 years of combined diamond exploration experience in Southern Africa. The company is equipped for exploration, with two diamond drill rigs and a fully portable 1 t/h dense media separation plant for sample preparation and making diamond concentrates.