Botswana Diamonds grabs rights for ‘high potential’ S. African prospect

Shares in London-listed Botswana Diamonds (LON:BOD) received a fresh shot in the arm on Wednesday after the miner said it had been granted rights to explore a piece of land close to the Venetia mine, operated by De Beers, which delivers around 40% of South Africa’s annual diamond production.

The miner believes past explorers “systematically under-estimated” the grade and diamond quality of the 2.5-hectare Mooikloof kimberlite pipe concession, which is also adjacent to another mine — Oaks —, which was also owned and operated by De Beers. That’s why it plans to re-evaluate the prospect.

The Mooikloof concession is close to the Venetia mine, operated by De Beers, which delivers around 40% of South Africa’s annual diamond production.

“We are pleased to finally be awarded the Mooikloof concession. This was discovered and explored in the 1980s by De Beers who went on to develop the Oaks mine next door,” chairman John Teeling, said in the statement. “The pipe is historically estimated at 2.5 hectares in size and contains diamonds. Using recently developed exploration techniques we will re-assess this high potential pipe.” chairman John Teeling, said in the statement.

Botswana Diamonds’ stock jumped on the news and it was trading 6.34% higher to 1.09p by 1:13OPM in London.

The company also said it would not continue exploration of the Ontevreden pipe in South Africa, as it found out it was smaller than previously expected.

Research by the University of Johannesburg showed that the site’s rock displayed characteristics typically present in high-grade kimberlite pipes, the company said last year.

But further drilling of the resource confirmed that while it contained kimberlite, it was not enough to make the project viable for full-scale operation.