Botswana Diamonds-led consortium awarded prospecting licence in Eswatini

31st January 2024 By: Creamer Media Reporter

A consortium called Diamonds of Eswatini, in which London- and Botswana-listed Botswana Diamonds holds a 30% interest, has been awarded a prospecting licence over the diamondiferous Dokowayo kimberlites, in Eswatini.

Botswana Diamonds, which holds a 30% interest in the consortium, is the operator.

Michelo Shakantu holds a 15% stake; the Conros Corporation – owned by the Chandaria family – holds a 5% interest; the Eswatini government 25%; and King Mswati III 25%.

The awarded prospecting licence of just under 4 000 ha is for an initial period of one year and renewable for a further year.

There are at least two kimberlite pipes and three kimberlite dykes on the prospecting licence, the largest of which (K1) is a pipe of about 600 m in diameter.

K1 was mined by Transhex between 1986 and 1996 when 720 222 ct were recovered. The mine was well known for producing fancy pink and Type IIA diamonds and the largest diamond recovered weighed 146 ct.

There are also significant tailings dumps on the property, as well as a stockpile of unprocessed kimberlite. The kimberlite resource has been internally estimated at over ten-million tonnes to a depth of 200 m and the dumps are estimated to contain two-million tonnes.

Botswana Diamonds says the consortium plans to undertake an immediate, updated full desktop review and analysis of secondary sources. That will be followed by bulk sampling of the dumps and kimberlite stockpile.

"We are delighted to have been awarded this prospecting licence over the Dokowayo kimberlite pipe in Eswatini, which we applied for several years ago.

"The pipe was last mined a long time ago and following breakthroughs in both exploration and mining technology, we are excited about Dokowayo's potential viability, especially seeing that Dokowayo is proven to contain both pink and Type IIA diamonds, which are greatly in demand and fetch amongst the very highest of diamond prices," comments Botswana Diamonds chairperson John Teeling.