Round cut diamonds on black
Aim-listed Botswana Diamonds and its 50/50 JV partner Alrosa have kicked off an active exploration programme on two licences in Orapa, Botswana.

The fully-funded exploration programme will first begin first on licences in the Orapa area then in the Gope area.

The compnay announced on Wednesday that sampling had started earlier this week on two licences in Orapa with mineralogists expected to arrive on site on 28 March to analyse the samples.

Geophysics is also expected to begin on 28 March.

This will be followed by diamond drilling expected on Kimberlite AK21 on PL 260 in the first week of April, to be followed by reverse circulation wide diameter drilling; and verification drilling to run concurrently on PL 210.

The exploration programme is being led by a team from Alrosa, who is being supported by an experienced team from Botswana Diamonds.

Geologists have begun sampling on PLs 260 and 210. PL 260 covers an area of 25 km2 between the Lucara Diamond’s Karowe and Debswana’s Orapa diamonds mines. It contains three kimberlites AK21, AK22 and AK23, known to contain diamonds.

Alrosa and Botswana Diamonds have evaluated existing data and agreed that significant potential exists on the block. A soil sampling geophysics, diamond drilling and reverse circulation wide diameter drill programme is ongoing and will continue on the block until the end of April.

The 2 x 3 m wide diameter holes have a target depth of 300 m. A 90 t bulk sample will be analysed in a bulk sampling plant in Botswana.

A second team has been deployed to PL 210 where two holes were drilled in 2015. Targeted geophysics and soil sampling are designed to select drill sites for diamond drilling, which will commence in early April.

“There are extensive Kimberlitic Indicator Minerals (KIMs) on PL 210 and we hope that the new drilling programme will identify the source,” the company believes.

On the completion of sampling and geophysics on PLs 210 and 260 the teams will move to the Gope region. Follow up work will be conducted on PLs 135, 136 and 137, where anomalies were confirmed in 2015.

Early stage fieldwork will also start shortly on the new Gope licences obtained in late 2015.

Botswana Diamonds chairman John Teeling says this is an important time for the company as the exploration programme  has great potential.

The new licence, PL 260, already has known kimberlites containing diamonds and we want to test the belief that the grade improves at depth so we are taking a bulk sample to get reliable results, he says.

“We have reviewed data which gives us confidence that there are good levels of KIMs and hope that this drilling programme will validate this. Based on the angularity of the KIMs, we believe they have not travelled very far.”