John Teeling’s Botswana Diamonds expects its 2015 exploration programme to include a double-digit number of drill holes tested to identify targets, as it looks to increase its focus on the southern African country.
The Dublin-based/AIM-listed mining company yesterday reported pre-tax losses of £948,610 (€1.2m). That represents a 90% rise on the previous year’s loss. The loss, for the 12 months to the end of June, reflected an impairment cost of £615,796 relating to its operations in Zimbabwe and Cameroon.
“The group’s focus is to maximise the full potential of the Botswana operations,” the company said.
In particular, the company — which has a prospecting partnership deal with Russian diamond giant Alrosa — is looking at a five-licence block, covering “highly prospective ground” in the Orapa region of Botswana. In the past year, a four-hole drilling programme in the same region, but at a different licence, returned results that the company described as “reasonable, but not great”.
“Further work is being carried out on the drilling results, but we are unlikely to drill further on that licence as the targets look small,” Mr Teeling said.
Botswana Diamonds also has an earn-in agreement on 13 licences in the Gope region. Covering an area of over 6,500 sq km in the Kalahari Desert, the region is seen as an emerging diamond area. Mr Teeling’s firm has been speaking to parties regarding a farm-in agreement in the area. He said money the company raised this year and last has funded all of its exploration work since and cash remains to cover “some, if not all, of next year’s programme”.
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