A joint team exploration work between Alrosa and Botswana Diamonds plc (BOD) has restarted on Blocks PL 206, 207 and 210 in Orapa, Botswana in a bid to find major new kimberlites.
BOD said a team of seven geologists, mineralogists and geophysicists from Alrosa have arrived on site to join its team and conduct follow-up exploration on blocks PL 206, 207 and 210.
It revealed that a comprehensive exploration programme conducted in Q3 2014 followed by detailed analyses in the Russian company’s laboratories highlighted specific target areas on the above blocks. The next stage of work will entail further soil sampling, electromagnetic and ground magnetic surveys.
According to BOD, focus is around PL 206 to verify whether the identified Kimberlitic Indicator Minerals (KIMs) are from the known Orapa kimberlite cluster or from previously undiscovered kimberlites in or around PL 206. The company added that focus on PL 207 is on the north east of the block to discover the source of the heavy concentration of KIMs found including two diamonds while focus on PL 210 is to estimate the travel distance of the KIMs.
John Teeling, Chairman, revealed that Alrosa is conducting a professional and exciting exploration programme on its Botswana acreage.
“Using the comprehensive databases supplied by Botswana Diamonds, their own proprietary technology and the results of the first exploration programme, Alrosa focuses their efforts on priority ground,” he said.
“The objective is to find major new kimberlites. Their on-site approach using highly skilled and experienced geologists for all facets of fieldwork, together with onsite mineralogical analyses, is impressive, efficient and timely. By June 2015 we will have a clearer picture of the priority targets on our ground.”
Alrosa uses senior, qualified geologists to take soil samples. Alrosa’s expert mineralogists then use an on-site mobile laboratory to immediately analyse soil and hard rock samples. Kimberlitic Indicator Minerals (KIMs) such as garnets, picroilmenites, chrome diopsides and pyropes are compared to the ‘fingerprint’ of the same minerals from local diamond mines Orapa, Damtshaa and Letlhakane. This procedure saves time and money by focusing the work, giving prompt direction for the next stages of exploration.
Selected KIMs and rock samples are then sent to the Alrosa central laboratories for more detailed analyses. Data thereby generated is then married to the geophysical data collected. The result is an exploration programme focused on the discovery of new kimberlites.
Results of this work will be available by the end of June 2015. The Botswana Diamonds / Alrosa joint venture is 50/50. The joint venture budget for 2015 is $1 million.