Botswana Diamonds to buy BCL's stake in exploration project

GABORONE, June 7 (Reuters) – Botswana Diamonds (BoD) wants to buy liquidated BCL Mine's shares in a diamonds exploration joint venture project, its managing director said on Thursday.

BCL mine group, which has been under liquidation since 2016, is selling its 51 percent stake in Maibwe Diamonds for an undisclosed amount.

"We have put in an offer to the liquidator of BCL and we hope to get a response in the next few months," BoD managing director James Campbell told a mining conference.

The Maibwe JV consists of a block of ten licences, which are located in the central Kalahari region of the country.

The other partners in Maibwe are local consortium Future Minerals that holds a 20 percent stake and private South African venture Siseko, which has a 29 percent stake.

Campbell said Botswana Diamonds was looking at expanding its footprint in Southern Africa.

The firm has made significant progress in its JV projects in South Africa, where the use of new technology in exploration has increased the potential of profitably exploiting reserves previously discovered by global diamond giant De Beers.

Campbell also said BoD has teamed up with mining and resource development firm Vast Resources to explore for diamonds in Zimbabwe, saying both firms have extensive experience in Zimbabwe, which "is opening for business and both companies are keen to make the most of this opportunity."

(Writing by Olivia Kumwenda-Mtambo; Editing by James Macharia)