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Botswana Diamonds starts drilling at South African project

Aim- and BSE-listed diamond explorer Botswana Diamonds has started drilling at its Thorny River project, in South Africa.

Eight reverse circulation drill holes are planned to drill in-between the recently discovered River and River Extension blows.

The drilling programme is expected to take no more than two weeks.

The River blow was discovered by the company in November 2020 and covered a modelled surface area of 80 m by 40 m.

The River Extension blow, which is less than 100 m east of the River blow, was discovered by the company in April. 

Select drill samples from both drilling campaigns were treated at an independent laboratory where abundant kimberlitic indicators were recovered along with eleven diamonds, the miner said in a statement on September 1.

The objective of the exploration programme in the Thorny River project area is to discover additional blows and the objective of this specific drilling programme is to determine the extent of the connection between the two recently discovered blows.

Chairperson John Teeling said the start of the drilling programme “is an important step” in the miner’s drive to establish a commercial diamond orebody at Thorny River.

“We are very hopeful that these eight holes will confirm that the two blows, River and River Extension are, in fact, one orebody,” he commented.

For context, Botswana Diamonds said, the discoveries at Thorny River are within the Zebediela kimberlite field, which chiefly comprises a series of consistently diamondiferous kimberlite dykes with a strike length of 20 km.

On this dyke, there are a number of blows – Kudu, Sugarbird, Sugarbird Pass (all part of the Klipspringer diamond mine) and Marsfontein.

The four blows have been mined-out, with the latter having been mined by a De Beers and Southern Era joint venture with a payback of three-and-a-half days. Marsfontein is 3.5 km west and on strike from the company’s discoveries. miningweekly

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