London, England — MININGREVIEW.COM — 22 December 2009 – Firestone Diamonds plc “’ a UK-based and AIM-quoted international diamond mining and exploration company with operations in Botswana and South Africa “’ has entered into a joint venture agreement with Tawana Resources NL involving Tawana’s kimberlite exploration and evaluation projects in Botswana.
A statement released here confirmed that these included eight kimberlites in the Orapa kimberlite field, and pointed out that under this agreement Firestone could earn up to an 85% interest in any kimberlites in the prospecting licences controlled by Tawana.
The company could earn 70% by carrying costs for first stage bulk sampling, and Tawana has the option to fund its remaining 30% interest from that point. Firestone could, however, earn an additional 15% by carrying costs to mine development decision if the Tawana option is not exercised
The Orapa prospecting licence contains 8 kimberlites and covers 57 squ km. It is located close to Debswana’s Damtshaa Mine and is 26 km from Firestone’s BK11 mine development project
Firestone Diamonds CEO Philip Kenny commented:“With production from our planned new mine at BK11 due to commence in Q2 of 2010, we will be able to use the infrastructure at BK11 to develop and exploit economic potential at other satellite kimberlites in the Orapa area quickly and at relatively low cost.
We are excited about the potential of Tawana’s kimberlites in the Orapa area, which bring the total number of kimberlites in Firestone’s portfolio in the Orapa area to 15, and we look forward to updating our shareholders on the results of our initial review of the project in early 2010,” he added.