Botswana Diamonds has seen its losses narrowing as the exploration company continued to scour for diamonds in the diamond rich pipeline of Orapa area. The company said on its half year results for the six months ended 31 December 2014 that its losses after and before tax stood at ┬ú166, 000 (about P2.4 million) which was better than ┬ú206, 000 (about P3 million) recorded in the same period in 2013.
BOD’s comprehensive loss for the period stood at ┬ú149, 000, which was also lower than the ┬ú 235, 000 loss reported in the same period in 2013. The company, together with its 50/50 joint venture partner Alrosa, is currently focused on the Orapa area of Botswana, which is home to Debswana operating mines of Orapa, Letlhakane, and Damtshaa mines and Karowe mine owned by Lucara Diamond.
“Alrosa believe that their technology, experience and people can identify diamondiferous kimberlites through up to 100 metres of overburden ÔÇô as is commonly found in Botswana,” BOD Chairman, John Teeling said in a statement accompanying the results.
“Their skills were honed in Siberia where they have found and developed up to 18 diamond mines.┬á We contribute data banks and the on-the-ground experience of our team,” he added.
Teeling revealed that in the past year the joint venture begun to look at potential targets outside of the Orapa area while continuing to identify new ground of geological potential in the Orapa area.┬á The joint venture has applied for and been awarded additional ground in the area.
According to the Irishman, the diamond industry glistens in a resource sector depressed by weak demand with is a clear supply-demand gap opening. However, there is growing demand for gem stones in Asia, the Middle East and parts of Africa because of emerging middle class, but the problem is that growing demand is not been met by new discoveries.
“There have been no major discoveries since 2005.┬á The high value Karowe Mine in Botswana, where three of the directors of Botswana Diamonds played an active part in the discovery, came on stream in 2012 ÔÇô but is only producing approximately 400,000 carats a year of premium product,” said the charismatic Teeling.┬á
“Established diamond mines are getting deeper and more costly to operate.┬á The result of these factors is likely to be stronger prices in the future.”
Teeling, who together with his team discovered Karowe mine, bemoaned that resources in general and exploration in particular have suffered greatly in recent years.┬á
He decried that share prices have been decimated by 90% plus falls.┬á “Investors have lost faith.┬á Funding has grown increasingly difficult.┬á But believers remain.┬á Success will produce substantial returns.”