Botswana Diamonds begins drilling at PL 135 in Grope region of Kalahari Desert


Botswana Diamonds and its joint venture (JV) partner Alrosa have started the first phase of a four core hole drilling programme at prospecting licence (PL) 135 in the Gope region of the Kalahari Desert.  

The Gope region is a remote area that has no population or water, with deep sand and extreme temperatures.  

Operating in the region requires significant planning and logistical support. 

This licence is a priority target for the joint venture and the drilling programme is targeting new kimberlites. 

"The preliminary geochemical and geophysical indicators are strongly positive."

It was selected in separate studies by BOD and Alrosa geologists as having potential and it has never previously been drilled. 

Anomalies in the geology have been identified after intensive soil sampling and electromagnetic studies. 

The core resulting from the drilling programme will be analysed by Alrosa mineralogists present in Botswana. 

A further evaluation and analysis will take place if required in St Petersburg, Russia. 

Results can be expected in approximately 12 weeks.

Botswana Diamonds chairman John Teeling said: "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. And yet 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."

Meanwhile, the company has announced that drilling has commenced on kimberlite pipe AK 22 on PL 260 in the Orapa area of Botswana .