Botswana Diamonds (BOD) has commenced its first half exploration program on the Sunland Minerals joint venture (JV) with Russian diamond miner ALROSA in the Southern Africa country. The program will focus on previously identified geophysical targets in the Central Kalahari Game Reserve with the aim of turning them into drill targets. It will use soil samples and magnetic surveys to supplement the airborne gravity and airborne magnetic data obtained in earlier work. In 2013 Botswana made a deal with ALROSA, to co-operate on exploration using the Russian company's technology in Botswana to identify high potential targets from BOD’s extensive database.
In a separate move, the company has raised approximately $695,060 (£500,000) through the placing of 50 million new ordinary shares with new and existing investors. The shares represent around 9.8% of the company’s issued share capital. Proceeds from the placement are expected to be used to fund ongoing diamond exploration in South Africa and Botswana. In addition, the funds will be directed towards additional working capital requirements. Based on mineralogical data, Area PL 206 is prospective for the discovery of kimberlites. In April last year, the JV secured six new prospecting licences in Botswana that are valid for a period of three years until 2020.
Further, the company announced that a Scoping Study has commenced to determine the potential commerciality of the Thorny River Diamond Project - a consolidation of the Frischgewaagt, Hartbeesfontein and Doornrivier properties into a 2,771 hectare area in the Limpopo Province of South Africa. It comprises the eastern extension of the kimberlite dyke/pipe systems on which the Klipspringer & Marsfontein Mines are located, both of which have been economically mined. Extensive drilling, geophysics and sampling work has been undertaken at Thorny River during the last twelve months, with their most recent analysis showing a modelled diamond value range of US$120/carat - US$220/carat and an n-situ value of US$55 - US$160/ton. The project comprises an estimated 1.2 million - 2.1 million tons of kimberlite to a depth of 100m at a modelled grade range of 46 -74 carats per hundred tons (cpht). John Teeling, chairman, commented: "We are satisfied that we now have a better understanding of the geology and metrics of the Thorny River deposit. What is emerging is a project with similar metrics to the neighbouring Klipspringer Mine. We are now undertaking a detailed study to refine our processing, geological and commercial parameters."
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