Vast Resources, the AIM-listed mining company that signed last March a Memorandum of Understanding with Botswana Diamonds (BOD) to develop diamond resources in Zimbabwe, has been awarded exclusive access to a diamond concession area in the Marange Diamond Fields in the Chiadzwa region of Zimbabwe. According to a statement from BOD, the purpose of Vast's agreement is to carry out initial due diligence on the area with a view to concluding a joint venture agreement, the principal terms of which have been agreed, for exploration, mining and marketing.
The 15km² 'Heritage Concession' is close to an area of Vast's historic Marange Diamond Fields claim and is understood to be an extension of the same geological system. John Teeling, BOD Chairman, commented, "I am delighted that Vast has been awarded this exclusive access to part of the famous Marange diamond fields and we look forward working with them to realise the full potential of this area and others as they begin to emerge with Zimbabwe opening for business."
Under the agreement between BOD and Vast Resources, the two companies will exchange past exploration information on areas prospective for diamonds in Zimbabwe and form a jointly-owned special purpose vehicle to develop and exploit diamond resources. Both companies now have a Zimbabwe diamond database. In 2008, Vast acquired a database relating to diamonds in Zimbabwe, and until 2010 conducted exploration in the field using information from the database. BOD has independently acquired a Zimbabwe diamond database. At the time of signing the MOU, Teeling said, "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. I look forward to providing our shareholders with further updates in due course."