Aim-listed Vast Resources, together with Botswana Diamonds (BOD), have received an independent competent person’s preliminary geological assessment relating to the Heritage concession within the Marange diamond fields of Zimbabwe, in which specific exploration recommendations were made.
As announced on October 4, BOD has entered an agreement with Vast under which BOD will be engaged in due diligence, exploration, mining and marketing on the Heritage concession.
The receipt of the geological assessment, coupled with further information obtained from Vast’s due diligence, has prompted the company to proceed to the full joint venture (JV) agreement with Red Mercury, which is subject to legal due diligence.
The geological assessment covering the Heritage concession, which is proposed to be jointly operated by Vast and the community trust owned by Red Mercury, highlights that the property contains several targets for modern alluvial diamond placer deposits.
The grades of the known proximal modern alluvial placers draining the Marange diamond fields elsewhere range in grade from 50 carats per hundred tons (cpht) to 500 cpht, most typically between 100 cpht and 200 cpht.
There is also potential for remnants of the basal Umkondo unit in the Heritage concession, which runs at grades from between 100 cpht and 3 000 cpht elsewhere in the Marange diamond fields, Vast said in a statement on Wednesday.
Subject to that, the next steps will be follow-up fieldwork to investigate the potential of modern alluvial diamond placer deposits and the possibility of the basal Umkondo unit on the Heritage concession.
Upon positive results, the fieldwork will be closely followed by pitting, drilling and bulk sampling which will form part of prefeasibility studies.
It is estimated that over 60-million carats have been recovered from the Marange diamond fields to date.
“The promising results from site visits, the competent person’s geological report and work with BOD gives the company great confidence in moving forward with the next phase of operations on the ground,” Vast CEO Andrew Prelea commented.
He added that the company has assembled and mobilised a team of geologists and engineers to begin work on the ground.
“Importantly, the senior management of Vast has been working closely with the community leaders and is developing strong ties with local stakeholders. The wellbeing and advancement of the community is paramount to the success of a long-term business within the Marange diamond fields.”
In a separate statement on Wednesday, BOD chairperson John Teeling stated that BOD has completed a desktop assessment of the heritage concession in the Marange diamond fields.
This assessment, he said, has outlined significant potential on the concession and proposes the next steps, which include mapping and trial mining, if indicated.