Botswana Diamonds finds octahedron in sample material at Orapa

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Shares in London-listed Botswana Diamonds (LON:BOD) climbed nearly 3% Tuesday after the company announced the discovery of a 1mm octahedron-shaped diamond while prospecting at Orapa.

The company, which began exploring the area in March this year, said that specialists from its joint venture partner Alrosa are in the midst of reanalyzing 80 tonnes of samples that were sent to a processing facility in South Africa.

“The discovery of a 1mm diamond in the first 20kg of material is a positive development as we now know there are diamonds in the pipe,” said Botswana Diamonds chairman John Teeling.

He was referring to the kimberlite pipe AK22 on its PL260 licence, where it began drilling only last week.

Botswana, which was overtaken by Russia as the world’s top diamond producing country in 2014, is grappling with aging mines, as well as power and water shortages.

Mining made up just one fifth of GDP last year compared with half in the late 1980s at the height of the diamond boom, though financial services and tourism — the Okavango Delta is one Africa’s premier safari destinations — are growing fast.

Besides diamonds, Botswana also produces nickel, copper, coal and iron ore.