BoD plans to initiate operations in 2024

Dec 21, 2023

In a statement John Teeling, Chairman- Botswana Diamonds (BoD) said, in an era where exploration shares face a bleak landscape amid economic and political turmoil, Botswana Diamonds stands out as an active player. Despite market challenges, the company has remained resilient, eyeing significant prospects in the South African diamond industry.

The company’s focus on diamond production in South Africa has been underscored by its plans to initiate operations at the Thorny River diamond ground in 2024. Leveraging the adjacent Marsfontein license as a proof-of-concept project, Botswana Diamonds embarked on a joint venture with a skilled contractor, operating on a 15% to 20% royalty basis contingent on the scale of production.

Though the Marsfontein operation yielded a modest 1,741 carats of diamonds, the company expressed satisfaction with the venture. However, a considerable downturn in diamond prices, paired with a sharp rise in energy costs by 30%, led to negative cash flows, temporarily suspending operations at Marsfontein. The company anticipates resuming production in January 2024.

During the Marsfontein mining phase, an area of higher diamond grade was discovered, slated to become the primary target upon resumption of operations. Botswana Diamonds intends to transition to Thorny River subsequently, anticipating a substantial scale-up in operations. Pending final approvals, estimated to be imminent, Thorny River holds the promise of significant mineral wealth.

The Thorny River site boasts estimated ore quantities ranging from 1.2 million to 2.1 million tons, projecting a grade of 46 to 76 carats per hundred tons. Anticipated diamond values fall within the range of US $120 to $220 per carat. With a comprehensive mining plan already in place, the company foresees a seamless transition from Marsfontein to Thorny River, utilizing the same mining equipment within a matter of weeks.

Botswana Diamonds remains optimistic about its prospects, navigating challenges with strategic foresight and a firm commitment to harnessing the potential riches lying within South Africa’s diamond terrain.

 

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