Firestone Diamonds, the London AIM listed company, has described its drilling results in Tsabong as “very encouraging” as it is pounding over the long term prospects of listing on the Botswana Stock Exchange (BSE).
Firestone chief executive officer, Phillip Kenny, told The Sunday Standard on Friday that the listing on BSE is “something that they are looking at sometime in the future”.
“We are seriously considering that but at the moment there is no company policy on that. Right now our primary objective is to look at our operations in Tsabong and get the results from our drilling,” Kenny said in an interview.
Last week, Firestone, which has some interest in Botswana and South Africa, released an update on its Tsabong project to try to determine the economic potential of the high kimberlite in the project area.
“With 81 kimberlite discovered to date in Tsabong, of which 14 are diamondferous, the objective of Firestone is to identify and evaluate the kimberlites with the economic potential as rapidly as possible.
“We have made excellent progress in the six months since we commenced our evaluation programme and we now have a much better understanding of the geology of the area and kimberlites in our portfolio,” an upbeat Kenny said.
He added: “Initial results from the core drilling are very encouraging and we look forward to results from the extensive bulk sampling that we plan to undertake in 2008.”
Firestone said it has an enormous data base on Tsabong region which “significantly improves the company’s ability to identify and prioritise kimberlites within the area” and concentrate on those which have an economic potential. Through this system, it has identified four diamondferous kimberlite with the best economic potential.
“Four additional diamondferous kimberlites with a high KIM ( Kimberlite Indicator Mineral) geochemistry have been identified using this database and AEP (Advanced Evaluation Programme) has been expanded from 10 to 14 to include these kimberlites. MK3 is the most significant of these as it is has good KIM geochemistry, is proven to contain micro diamonds and is 75 hectares in size,” the company said, adding that MK 31 is the next target.
“Tsabong is one of the largest diamondferous kimberlite fields in the world, containing 81 known kimberlites, of which 17 have been proven to be diamondferous. Tsabong is noted for exceptionally large size of its kimberlites, in particular 180 hectares MK1 kimberlite, which is one of the largest known diamondferous kimberlites,” the company said in its update.
It said with diamond price having tripled since the Tsabong field was discovered in the 1980s the economic viability of the area has been substantially reduced. However, it stated that stone of US $ 100 per carat will support a large scale mining project.
As part of the plan, Firestone is to commission a sampling plant this month which will be stationed in Tsabong. The plant will treat ore from all Firestone exploration sites including Jwaneng and Orapa areas. The ore from different mining exploration will be hauled with trucks to the sampling plant.