Botswana Diamonds trims losses by 9%

Irish mining company, Botswana Diamonds has reported a near 9% drop in annual losses for the 12 months to the end of June.

The AIM-listed firm — which has a number of diamond exploration licence areas in Botswana and Cameroon — yesterday reported a pre-tax loss of £498,166 (€597,000) for the period; down from a loss of £545,985 for the previous year.

The John Teeling-chaired company is also about to enter what it calls “a high powered phase of exploration”.

Back in August, the Dublin company announced a prospecting deal with Russian firm, Alrosa — the world’s largest diamond producer. Through subsidiaries, on both sides, the two firms will use Alrosa’s technology to explore Botswana’s diamond database.

The Irish firm said yesterday that the first ground phase of the joint venture will begin in early January in the Orapa area of Botswana.

Noting fresh investor appetite in AIM-listed explorers is “virtually non-existent”, he said that management is hoping to place shares with long-term investors.

“We will have the funds to operate the Alrosa joint venture, which has a 2014 budget of £600,000 on a 50/50 basis,” he said, adding that the board is looking forward to the future “with great confidence”.

Botswana also intends to sell one of its legacy assets, a 35% stake in the Congo-based explorer, Bugeco.


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