Botswana – At prospecting licence PL 135, junior explorer Botswana Diamonds and its 50/50 joint venture (JV) partner Alrosa have started a first phase four core hole drilling programme.
“The Gope drill campaign is breaking new ground in one of the most remote deserts on Earth. There are no people, even water must be transported long distances and the sand is deep. Temperatures can differ by 50°C between day and night. No mining companies have ventured here before to undertake drilling programmes. [quote]
“The preliminary geochemical and geophysical indicators are strongly positive. We are at the cutting edge of diamond exploration and are cautiously optimistic of finding kimberlites [here],” says Botswana Diamonds chairman John Teeling.
The company explains that the region was selected in separate studies by Botswana Diamonds and by Alrosa geologists as having significant potential and it has never previously been drilled. Licence PL 135 is therefore a top priority target for the Botswana Diamonds/Alrosa JV and the drilling programme is targeting new kimberlites.
To date, intensive soil sampling and electromagnetic studies have identified anomalies in the geology.
The Gope area is emerging as an attractive diamond province, which is already host to Gem Diamonds’ Ghagoo mine and Petra Diamonds’ KX36 discovery.
The core resulting from the drilling programme will be analysed by Alrosa mineralogists present in Botswana. If required, further evaluation and analysis will take place in St. Petersburg, Russia.
The company reports that results from the drilling at PL 135 can be expected in approximately twelve weeks.
Moreover, the drilling of core holes will be undertaken on kimberlite pipe AK 22 on licence PL 260 in the Orapa area – a known kimberlite containing diamonds.