Dual-listed Botswana Diamonds continues to develop its portfolio of eight exploration projects across three sub-Saharan countries – Botswana, South Africa and Zimbabwe.
In South Africa, drilling on the Marsfontein ground-intersected kimberlite continues, where a significant bulk sample of the kimberlitic ground has been recovered and transported for analysis.
This will be processed in the coming weeks, Botswana Diamonds says.
Meanwhile, exploration continues on Thorny River, which is adjacent to Marsfontein. However, drilling undertaken earlier this year had not intersected kimberlite.
The site locations were selected using the latest technology, the miner says, adding that the data is being analysed and the techniques recalibrated to select the next tranche of drill sites.
The targets are kimberlite pipes covered by a dolerite layer, the miner points out.
Given the ongoing focus on these two project concessions, only limited work is being undertaken across the miner’s other prospective ground in Palmietget, Mooikloof and the Free State.
Meanwhile, in Botswana, the company’s wholly-owned Sunland Minerals subsidiary has undertaken heavy mineral sampling and detailed geophysics in five of its licences within the Kalahari region.
Analysis of the results identified eight high-grade targets, the miner says, adding that environmental assessment work is being undertaken on three of these targets.
This, Botswana Diamonds adds, is a requirement to obtain drilling permits. In this regard, the miner says it has applied for, and expects the “imminent” award of some additional licences in the Kalahari region.
Meanwhile, the Maibwe joint venture (JV), which is 15% owned by Botswana Diamonds, has been subject to significant delays owing in large part to the liquidation of the main partner, Bamangwato Concessions Limited.
A new liquidator has been appointed and proposals are circulating which is expected to lead to a resumption of work on the four licences where drilling discovered high-grade kimberlites.
Botswana Diamonds has also been interested in the diamond potential of Zimbabwe for several years, where significant early-stage work has been undertaken to identify opportunities.
The prolific Marange diamondfield is a target, and Botswana Diamonds has a JV agreement with Vast Resources on a specific concession in the Marange field.
The award of the licence has been imminent for a period of time and will “pave the way for rapid exploration which will include trial mining”.
Apart from Marange, Botswana Diamonds notes that it has continued to examine other brownfield kimberlite opportunities.