Botswana Diamonds associate Vutomi has received approval to sell diamonds recovered during a bulk sampling programme at the Thorny River project in South Africa.

The Thorny River bulk sampling project is a joint venture (JV) between SouthernEra, Palaeo and Vutomi.

SouthernEra holds a 40% interest in the project and provides processing services while Palaeo holds a 40% stake and serves as the mining contractor. The remaining 20% interest is owned by Vutomi, which provides the ground.

Until 10 June, 256ct of rough diamonds were recovered. Sale of these diamonds from the bulk sampling will fund further development by Vutomi, in which Botswana holds a 40% stake.

The trenching programme has identified a hotspot at the project site with a thick, 4m-wide kimberlite intersection, indicating a kimberlite blow.

According to Botswana Diamonds, the bulk sampling programme is expected to generate short-term cash flow while developing the mineral resource.

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Botswana Diamonds’ partner, SouthernEra Diamonds, has included its coarse tailings dumps produced from the mining of the Marsfontein and Klipspringer diamond mines into the same revenue share partnership agreement.

Vutomi has obtained a Section 27 mining permit for a portion of the contiguous Marsfontein farm.

Part of this farm hosts rich M8 kimberlite dyke, bordering the Marsfontein diamond mine.

Botswana Diamonds is a diamond exploration and project development company with exploration licences in Botswana and South Africa.