Botswana Diamonds' 50:50 joint venture with Alrosa, the world's leading diamond producer, will start next stage exploration at the end of September in the Orapa and Gope areas of Botswana. An update by Botswana Diamonds says that four core holes will be drilled in Gope on PL 135; two core holes will be drilled on kimberlite AK22 on PL 260 in Orapa and two core holes will be drilled on PL 085 in Orapa. It says an intensive programme of geophysics and soil sampling will be carried out on the 4 other licences held in Gope and an Alrosa team of 7 specialists will be joined by Botswana Diamonds geologists and support crew. Botswana Diamonds says final results are still awaited from the analysis of the 80 tons of material recovered from the two Large Diameter Drillholes (LDD) on kimberlite AK21 on licence PL 260 in Orapa. Delays in finding a company in South Africa capable of concluding the work were compounded by an inconclusive result. Concentrate is being returned to Botswana for evaluation by Alrosa specialists. Core which came from earlier boreholes on AK 21 is being sent to a laboratory for caustic fusion analysis. Chairman John Teeling said: "The Alrosa/Botswana Diamonds Joint Venture will shortly begin an intensive twelve week exploration programme on our ground in Botswana. "Core holes will be drilled on three licences, two on the known kimberlite AK22 in Orapa, two on licence PL 085 also in Orapa and four on licence PL 135 in Gope. Earlier work has pinpointed sites we believe may contain new diamondiferous kimberlites. "We are drilling two holes on AK 22, a known kimberlite containing diamonds. "We had expected to have the results from a bulk sample of 80 tons of materials on an adjacent pipe AK 21 but lack of processing capacity in Botswana and issues with a facility in South Africa have to date produced inconclusive results. We are having to re-examine the concentrate as well as analyse fresh core from earlier drillings. "We will also run electromagnetic and Transient Electro Magnetic (TEM) studies and soil sampling programmes across 6 licences. Initial results are expected by year end. We are funded for this phase of exploration."
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