Tsodilo Resources Limited is pleased to announce that a renewal application for Prospection License 369/2014 has been filed with the Department of Mines (DOM) at the Ministry of Mineral Resources, Green Technology and Energy Security (MMGE) in Gaborone, Botswana.
The renewal application is for a two-year period and the area contains the Company’s BK16 kimberlite project. The centre piece of the renewal application is the Phase II surface bulk sampling program which will be the extraction, processing and diamond recovery of 20,000 metric tonnes of kimberlite.
On January 23, 2019, the Company presented encouraging modelled grade and diamond value reports for the BK16 kimberlite from its Phase I sampling program that consisted of a 2,077 metric tonnes Large Diameter Drilling (LDD) bulk sample. Phase I sampling was designed to obtain an initial determination of the quality and value of the BK16 diamonds. Since the completion of the Phase I program, the Company has been developing the Phase II program with third-parties to ensure that sufficient carats are obtained in the most cost-effective and viable manner. Phase II will be optimised for size of sample over geographical dispersion. To achieve this, the Company has moved away from LDD bulk sampling to a surface bulk sample method to obtain the required volumes as efficiently as possible.
The Company has determined that a surface bulk sample of a box-cut style design will be the most economical and viable option for Phase II and to this end, a number of contract mining companies were contacted to quote on surface bulk sampling of 20,000 metric tonnes of kimberlite. Phase II represents ten (10) times more kimberlite material than that which was acquired from Phase I and should result in the recovery of 800 to 1,600 carats based on the modelled grade range presented in the Company’s press release on January 23, 2019.
The envisioned Phase II surface bulk sampling of this type constitutes standard industry practice for diamond exploration of kimberlites like BK16 to gain enough carats for an effective economic analysis. A similar style of surface bulk sampling was employed by the Boteti Joint Venture (De Beers Prospecting and African Diamonds) during their Phase II exploration of the AK6 kimberlite in 2006. That Phase II surface bulk sampling recovered 19,467 metric tonnes of kimberlite which when combined with the LDD sample drilling of 6,045 metric tonnes (Phase I: 2,747 metric tonnes and Phase II: 3,298 metric tonnes) formed the basis of the AK6 resource statement and positive feasibility study in 2007.
The positive diamond recovery results obtained from these samples led to a mining license application being filed in 2008 followed by the commencement of mining in 2012 by Lucara Diamond Corp. (Lucara) (Campbell and Jooste 20163 and McGeorge et al., 20104). The Phase II bulk sample design will be a basic small and shallow box-cut style bulk sample. Twenty-five (25) meters of over-burden will be stripped to expose the kimberlite below resulting in a depth of the box-cut design of 30 – 35 metres. Tsodilo has held advanced discussions with Trollope Botswana (Trollope) for the purpose of undertaking the box-cut style surface bulk sampling program on behalf of the Company.
Trollope is the main contract mining company at Lucara’s Karowe mine (AK6) located 25 kilometres south-west of BK16. Trollope has the experience and expertise to conduct this surface bulk sample in an efficient, safe and professional manner. Tsodilo is also exploring the possibilities of including a continuous miner type technology for this project and are in discussions with Vermeer Corp. on the viability of this option.