African Diamonds, the mid tier diamond mining company, is planning to open an office in Botswana next month following its deepening roots in the diamond mining in this country.
The move by the company follows the awarding of two extra mining exploration licences at PL 84/ 2007 and PL 85/2007 covering an area the size of 641.1km 2 and 847.3 km2, respectively. Both areas are around the Orapa region and are regarded as prospective for diamond mining.
The region of Kedia ÔÇô some 120 km west of OrapaÔÇö is regarded as prospective for diamonds. Kimberlitic indicators, mostly garnets, were recovered during exploration by earlier explorers. Some of the garnets were G9 and G2, indicating a source not too far away. Their presence has never been explained.
The prospective nature of this area has resulted in a number of competing theories to explain the geology. African Diamonds will review the historical data using modern analysis and interpretation. Modern technology may offer an opportunity to identify what may be a new kimberlite field.
In a separate development, African Diamonds has acquired a 25 percent interest in Wati Ventures Pty Ltd, a privately owned Botswana diamond explorer whose principle interest is a 1.35 per cent stake in the AK6 diamond discovery in Orapa, as well as four kimberlite pipes, of which two are new discoveries. The consideration for this was 45,000 shares in African Diamonds plc.┬á Wati Ventures Pty Ltd has a joint venture with De Beers in Botswana,
“If AK6 is a done deal yet, the big question is where do we go now,” John Teeling, the Chairman of African Diamonds, told The Sunday Standard in an exclusive interview.
“We see a lot of opportunities here and we have a lot of interest here. Our intention is to have an office here in September and we are going to appoint its head in September of this year,” he said. “The plan is to build African Diamonds Botswana as an independent company here in Botswana. It will be headed by a Motswana with a lot of diamond mining experience in this country.”
African Diamonds is in a joint venture with De BeersÔÇöthe world’s largest diamond miner ÔÇô over AK6 and the two parties gave the project a thumps up last month. On September 6, they will meet for a board meeting in Gaborone to finalise details for a mining licence which will be lodged with the Department of Mines around the same period. Further, the board is expected to agree to a budget for the proposed mine’s equipment ahead of the mine construction plan expected to start early in the New Year.
“The acquisition of a stake in Wati not only gives us a small increase in our interest in AK6 but brings new diamondiferous kimberlites and partners with strong local interests,” said Teeling. “The award of the Kedia diamond licences further strengthens African Diamonds presence in Botswana. We are expanding our team in Botswana to manage our growing independent interests.”