Botswana Diamonds has completed drilling programmes at its Frischgewaagt and Hartbeesfontein farms at its Thorny River project in South Africa.

The drilling aimed to provide information ahead of a bulk sampling programme, which is set to start after securing the necessary regulatory approvals. Officials are expected to approve the sampling programme during the second quarter of this year.

Botswana Diamonds’ drilling programme comprised 33 holes and 1,282m of drilling, which has resulted in a total drilled depth of 3,299m in five areas on Frischgewaagt and Hartbeesfontein, combined with previous work.

The Thorny River intensification drilling programme, which started in February this year, has allowed further definition of the kimberlite blow/fissure complex.

The first phase of the programme was concluded with drilling complete on the farm Hartbeesfontein.

The project added to data already generated by gravity, magnetic, maxmin and other advanced exploration techniques.

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Botswana Diamonds identified a bulk sampling target of 3.9km of linear kimberlite fissure intersection from the results with intersections of up to 18m from 4m below the surface.

Additionally, areas hosting possible blows have also been identified. They will form part of the bulk sampling area.

“The drilling programme comprised 33 holes and 1,282m of drilling, which has resulted in a total drilled depth of 3,299m.”

After carrying out refurbishment, wet commissioning has been completed on a nearby kimberlite treatment facility where the processing of bulk samples will take place.

Botswana Diamonds further added that early stage work is progressing on potential alluvial diamond deposits in the Thorny River project area.

The nearby Marsfontein diamond mine was host to eluvial diamond deposits running at grades of 1,433 cpht.