The coming months will be very significant, and a time of “great opportunity”, for diamond miner Botswana Diamonds, as it has a pipeline of projects at various stages of development, says chairperson John Teeling.
However, this opportunity had not yet been realised, he said on December 6, noting that the stock markets in recent years had been "a hostile place for junior explorers”, including in the diamond sector.
“Explorers need continued funding at least until a discovery goes into commercial production. A small group of investors have supported placings in Botswana Diamonds, and I anticipate that this will continue,” Teeling commented, noting that the miner has “moved a very long way from being a greenfield explorer”.
“As a junior explorer, we have punched well above our weight by joint venturing with companies with finance and/or projects,” he enthused, referencing, in particular, the completed acquisition of the Ghaghoo mine, where the miner would be the operator.
In addition, Teeling said a recovering diamond price improved the value of the 10% carry, while its 20% earn-in at Ghaghoo gave Botswana Diamonds a potentially significant stake at no upfront cost.
He added that the joint venture with Diamexstrat had identified some exciting targets which needed to be drilled, again at no cost to Botswana Diamonds.
“I am sure the inclusion of the 100% owned KX36 diamond discovery will be a powerful asset to our portfolio as activities in Botswana grow.”
In addition, the miner’s drilling campaign in South Africa had been positive, and the current modelling would assist in evaluating the commerciality of what it had, though Teeling noted that the miner’s work had identified other anomalies likely to be blows, some of which were bigger than anything else discovered to date.
Teeling added that the Marsfontein mine within kilometres of blows “was so rich in diamonds that the capital investment was paid back in 4.5 days”.
Following outside interest in acquiring Vutomi Mining, the miner also exercised its pre-emptive right to acquire the shares it did not own at the same price as the offer and it will now have 74% of the equity when all approvals are granted.