Botswana Diamonds has announced an update on progress at the Alrosa/Botswana Diamond exploration joint venture programme in the Orapa and Gope regions. 

Under the programme during the second half of 2016, a total of 1,290m was drilled on three licences, comprising 440m on kimberlite AK 22 on PL 260, 200m on prospecting licence PL 085, both in Orapa, and 650m on PL 135 in Gope.

The programme found second diamond in concentrate reanalysis of AK 21 samples on PL 260. A diamond was also identified through visual observation of kimberlite core from AK 22 drilling on PL 260.

The company sent two 200kg sample to a South African processing facility for detailed mineralogical analysis. The company also noted that drilling on PL 085 in Orapa and PL 135 in Gope did not encounter kimberlite.

"Visual analysis of the core from drilling the AK 22 kimberlite identified a small diamond. This is rare."

PL 260 contains kimberlite AK 21 and AK 22. A diamond was recovered here during reanalysis of dense media separation (DMS) concentrate from LDD holes drilled on AK 21, with the work continuing.

The company said that two holes were drilled on AK 22 under the same licence. In the 440m drilling, a diamond was found in the core. The diamond then was sent to a processing facility in South Africa for micro-diamond analysis, which would take three months.

The two drill holes in PL 085 encountered dolerite sill instead of kimberlite. The company drilled four holes on a clearly defined anomaly on PL 135 in the Gope region. It expected kimberlite, but discovered basalt dolerite rock. The results are currently reviewed. 

Botswana Diamonds chairman John Teeling said: “We are making good progress in Botswana. Visual analysis of the core from drilling the AK 22 kimberlite identified a small diamond. This is rare. The core is now in South Africa undergoing detailed microdiamond analysis.

“As previously reported, we are reworking the concentrate from drilling on AK 21, on the same licence as AK 22. We have found a second diamond. The question now is to try to estimate whether the grade is good enough to continue exploration.

“Grassroots drilling on PL 085 and PL 135 did not find kimberlites. Meanwhile teams have been active with sampling and geophysical studies identifying drill targets for the 2017 campaign."