Botswana wins new diamond licences
Dublin-based exploration company Botswana Diamonds has said the joint venture it owns with the biggest diamond producer in the world has been awarded three new prospecting licences.
The licences were awarded to Sunland Minerals, an exploration joint venture company owned equally between Botswana Diamonds and its partner Russian diamond group Alrosa.
The licences cover areas of 46 sq km, 48 sq km and 3.3 sq km of Botswana's Orapa region.
They were acquired to verify previously identified geophysical anomalies and to follow up on them if justified.
One licence contained mineralogical anomalies with kimberlite indicator minerals, namely pyropes, ilmenites and, in particular, chrome diopsides.
A statement from Botswana Diamonds, chaired by veteran investor John Teeling, said: "The Alrosa and Botswana Diamonds geoscientists will focus immediately on the target areas using small grids to carry out detailed geophysics and to acquire mineral chemistry data with the aim of making rapid decisions regarding potential drilling."
A spokeswoman for the company added that prospecting is currently ongoing with 13 geologists on the ground. Drilling is expected to commence in the second half of the year.
The AIM-listed and Africa-focused minerals explorer also has exploration prospects in Cameroon.