Botswana may still bring diamonds

BOTSWANA – described as ‘elephant country’ when it comes to diamond production – might yet prove a lucrative hunting ground for Auridiam Consoli-dated NL.

The company is currently proceeding with a bankable feasibility on kimberlite BK16 in the Orapa Kimberlite project, located in an area covered by a number of exploration tenements to the south east of Orapa and Letlhakane diamond mines, rated some of the world’s largest diamond mines.

The study will be funded by MIT Ventures Corp, which is earning 80 per cent equity in the project, while Auridiam has a right to increase its interest to 10 per cent.

The company intends to progress evaluation of the Orapa Kimberlite joint venture ground to full bankable feasibility study level.

Work will focus on pipes BK2, BK16 and BK4 which are all diamondiferous, with BK16 showing highest potential.

A small sample from BK16 recovered by reverse circulation drilling yielded some 25 macrodiamonds from five holes. A total of 4.99 carats was recovered with four stones, each over 0.5ct, making up 60 per cent of the total carat count.

An independent valuation of the macrodiamonds recovered from BK16, by accredited commercial diamond evaluator Gregory Katz of Johannes-burg, concluded that the proportion of large stones and the absence of industrial diamonds was unusual for a

primary kimberlite.

The initial valuation of this small parcel was US$86 per carat which is in the higher range for a primary kimberlite.

Mr Katz has recommended a 500 carat parcel as being the minimum required for a definitive and representative evaluation .

Work will now be undertaken to enable the commencement of trial mining early next year to determine revenues for various tonnages processed to support a bankable feasibility to establish a commercial operation.

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