Wednesday, September 30, 2020

Botswana Diamonds eyes Southern Africa for further expansion

The Botswana Stock Exchange (BSE) and London Stock Exchanges listed Botswana Diamonds is looking at expanding its footprint in Southern Africa region.

Already the firm says it has made significant progress in its joint venture (JV) projects in South Africa, where the use of new technology in exploration has increased the potential of profitably exploiting reserves previously discovered by global diamond giant De Beers.

The company was recently awarded the priority 2.5 hectare Mooikloof kimberlite pipe concession close to De Beers’ flagship Venetia Mine.

Based on its experience elsewhere, BOD has suspected that past explorers may have systematically under-estimated the kimberlite pipe size, grade and diamond quality of the Mooikloof kimberlite. 

BOD Managing Director, James Campbell said, “we will deploy state-of-the-art exploration techniques to reassess the Mooikloof kimberlite, and maybe open another by-passed kimberlite pipe development.

Campbell also hinted on the possibilities of acquiring stake in the liquidated BCL Investments’ Maibwe Mine, however the details on the matter are still sketchy.

Further to the expansion, BOD has teamed up with mining and resource development firm Vast Resources to explore for diamonds in Zimbabwe, saying both firms have extensive experience in Zimbabwe, which “is opening for business and both companies are keen to make the most of this opportunity”. 

The two parties on May 1st 2018, signed a Memorandum of Understanding under which they agreed to exchange information derived from past exploration on areas prospective for diamonds in Zimbabwe; and to form a special purpose vehicle, to be jointly owned by each company, for the purpose of developing and exploiting diamond resources in Zimbabwe.

John Teeling, Chairman, commented, “Zimbabwe is a country with excellent diamond potential.  Both Botswana Diamonds and Vast Resources have extensive experience in and knowledge of the country.  It is opening for business and both BOD and Vast are keen to make the most of this opportunity.”

In 2008, Vast acquired a database relating to diamonds in Zimbabwe.   It has also, until 2010, carried out its own exploration in the field using information from the database.  BOD has independently acquired a Zimbabwe diamond database and, along with its significant networks, has expertise in diamond exploration, development and mining.

BOD has a joint venture with Alrosa, a Russian stock exchange listed Diamond Company. It also has a 50/50 joint venture with Sunland Minerals.

Sunland Minerals joint venture holds 15 prospecting licenses where six are in Orapa and nine in Kalahari. Prospecting is currently mainly focused in the Kalahari particularly heavy mineral sampling over geophysical anomalies. Drilling is planned for the second quarter of 2018.

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