Botswana Diamonds has discovered a potential spot for diamond mining in an area of South Africa that it claims was an important region for the sector in the 19th century.
The Company have initially highlighted the re-discovery of the eight kimberlites in October, and recently said the results of the survey work indicate the sizes of these kimberlites ranging from 0.3 hectares to 1.15 hectares.
It is therefore inferred that the eight kimberlites were formed at the same time as these mines; that is the group has been working in a 50,000 hectare area of the central province of South Africa, close to Kimberley, where a number of diamond mines are believed to have existed some time prior to 1880.
“The best place to find a mine is where there is or was a mine,” says Botswana Diamonds chairman John Teeling, noting that that the Free State area was the centre of world diamond mining over 100 years ago but has been neglected.
The project consists of four prospecting rights within a kimberlite cluster, which has the iconic diamond mines of Jagersfontein and Koffiefontein at its Eastern end, and Kimberley and Finsch at its Western extreme.
More detailed ground work has involved further field observations and the collection of samples from the relevant sites which have been subject to whole rock geochemistry tests by the Council for Geosciences. The results of these tests and observations confirm the existence of eight Group 1 kimberlites (the type of kimberlites found in Kimberley itself). Extensive historical working suggests that these kimberlites are diamondiferous.
“The re-discovery of 8 kimberlites in a highly prospective diamond area was very positive. We now know the sizes of each pipe/dyke and we believe that each could contain diamonds. The next step is to evaluate the diamond indicator minerals in each pipe to decide priorities for drilling,” said Teeling. This is planned for early 2018.
He says new technology and new ideas offers opportunities ÔÇô an approach that is paying off for Botswana Diamonds with the re-discovery of the eight kimberlites.
The group says Anecdotal evidence indicates that very little, if any, modern exploration technology has been applied to this highly prospective area and this is supported by the landowners, whose families have been in occupation of the properties for a number of generations.