Botswana Diamonds said on Monday that prospecting licences 232 and 235 of 2015, owned by its wholly-owned subsidiary Sunland Minerals, had recently been renewed. The AIM-traded firm said the renewals were for a two-year period from 1 October, adding that recent aeromagnetic and surveys, followed by targeted ground magnetic surveys and soil sampling, had identified drill targets on the licences.
It said the two licences 232 and 235 were 60 and 164 square kilometres in size, respectively. They were situated to the west of the Ghaghoo diamond mine in the central Kalahari, and were considered highly prospective. The nearest kimberlite to the licences was Go194, part of the Gope or Ghaghoo kimberlite pipe cluster, close to the south-eastern point of PL235 which was 20 kilometres from the Ghaghoo diamond mine where Botswana Diamonds held an interest as operator. There was “considerable” infrastructure at Ghaghoo, the board said, which would facilitate the servicing of a drilling campaign, adding that the economics of any discovery on the ground would be improved by the closeness of an existing mine.
It said the environmental management plan for future drilling had also been completed and approved. The licenses formed part of Botswana’s joint venture with Diamexstrat and Burgundy Diamond Mining, as announced on 16 February. Any work programme would be funded as part of the earn-in arrangement by the joint venture partners.
“Botswana Diamonds believes that there is the potential for significant new diamond discoveries in the Kalahari,” said managing director James Campbell.
“We have quietly built exploration acreage, while partnering with Diamexstrat and Burgundy Diamond Mining to finance exploration.”
Campbell said that until recently, it was thought that logistics and water challenges on the acreage could not be overcome.
“However, operational progress at nearby Ghaghoo and KX36 has transformed the situation – much of the set-up costs have already been incurred and incremental discoveries may therefore be potentially developed at lower cost and risk.”
At 1150 BST, shares in Botswana Diamonds were up 1.33% at 1.14p.