AIM-listed diamond junior Botswana Diamonds’ associate Vutomi has been granted environmental authorisation over a substantial portion of the residual diamond-bearing gravels produced from the very high grade Marsfontein mine, which is contiguous to its Thorny River operation.
South Africa – This essential authorisation is a critical step towards obtaining a mining permit, which the company expects to receive shortly. A mining permit covers an area of 5 ha and has a lifespan of two-years, which is renewable.
Diamonds hold a 40% stake in Vutomi.
John Teeling, Botswana Diamonds Chairman, says:
“We believe that the mine gravels and unprocessed stockpiles around the Marsfontein mine contain commercial grades of diamonds. To secure the mining permit we need certain approvals. Granting of the environmental authorisation is a critical step.”
“This facilitates the issuing of the mining permit necessary Botswanan Diamonds BOD to recover and sell the diamonds. We plan to shortly commence royalty mining operations at no cost to the company.”
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The very high grade of the Marsfontein mine (172 cpht) distracted the original miners from the gravels – though these were confirmed to be diamond-bearing through subsequent sampling.
Botswana Diamonds has identified potential partners to process the gravels and stockpiles. The company expect mobilisation to commence within six weeks.