Kopje, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Paragon Diamonds, has secured a prospecting licence for precious stones covering an area of 442km² in the Kgalagadi District of southern Botswana.
The three-year licence, which is valid until 30 September 2016, has a scope to renew twice for two-year periods with a reduction by 50% of the licence area at each renewal, giving a total validity of seven years.
According to the Ministry of Minerals, Energy and Water Resources, the licence holder is required to commit to the proposed work programme and estimated expenditures, and should notify the ministry of the discovery within 30 days.
The licensed area is on the northern flank of the Tsabong kimberlite field including upwards of 60 known kimberlite bodies, which is touted as remarkable as it includes many large diatremes, including M1, which at 180ha was one of the largest kimberlite bodies in the world.
The company claims the tectonic setting of the Tsabong kimberlites are the same as that of the Orapa diamond field, which has several major kimberlite mines.
The company is confident of being successful based on historical work on the western portion that in the past showed kimberlite indicator minerals and an aeromagnetic survey that has identified ten targets that are yet to be drilled.
The company has recently discovered new kimberlites and is yet to test the diamond potential. However, at least one of the bodies found is said to be very large, possibly greater than 200ha.
Paragon Diamonds executive chairman Martin Doyle said the receipt of licence will complement the company's holdings of historical kimberlite discoveries.
"The recovery of a diamond in widely spaced soil sampling less than five kilometers from undrilled magnetic anomalies and on the margin of the extensive Tshabong Kimberlite field is highly significant," Doyle added.
"Securing this licence is a continuation of Paragon Diamonds' strategy of applying modern-day sampling protocols to historical discoveries to correctly assess grade and diamond values, a strategy we continue to focus on in Lesotho at our flagship Lemphane Kimberlite, at the Kaplamp Lamproite Field in Zambia and now at Tsabong in Botswana."
Image: Paragon has recently discovered new kimberlites but is yet to test the diamond potential. Photo: Courtesy of Paragon Diamonds.