UK-based and AIM and BSE listed exploration company Botswana Diamonds, one of the most prolific diamond exploration and project development companies around, intersected 12 kimberlites from 18 holes drilled as part of its first phase of the intensification drilling program at the company's flagship Thorny River project in South Africa. The junior miner said drilling is now complete on the farm Hartbeesfontein bulk sampling target of 1.5 km of kimberlite fissure intersection were also identified.
The second phase of the drilling program, taking place on the farm Frischgewaagt has commenced with three holes drilled so far, all of which intersected kimberlite. The third hole intersected 4.5m of kimberlite fissure, which is the thickest section intersected to date on the project. This hole also produced a mantle xenolith (eclogite), which is indicative of high diamond content. Further drilling will be undertaken on two adjacent sites which may contain kimberlite blows. A gravity survey is underway on these areas. The third and final phase of the drilling program will commence once a detailed gravity survey has been concluded over two potential kimberlite blows on the same property.
Botswana Diamonds has said that bulk sampling is on track to commence in Q2 2019, subject to approvals. They also note that refurbishment of the nearby diamond processing plant is underway. This plant will process the Thorny River material. Last summer, the company said that ssuming positive results from its bulk sampling program, which is being conducted by mining contractor Palaeo Minerals, Botswana Diamonds will be able to self-fund the Thorny River project from bulk through to mine development. The indicated net royalties could be between $2 to $7 million annually over the 3 to 6-year mine life of Thorny River, based on current estimates.
Photo: Botswana Diamonds, drilling at Thorny River