Botswana Diamonds is hoping to enter the production phase as it juggles several advanced projects that could come to fruition by the second quarter of 2022.
“Botswana Diamonds is evolving from a pure diamond explorer to a diamond producer,” company chairman John Teeling said Monday. “We have an expectation that one or more of our advanced projects will in the near future potentially turn into a diamond mine.”
The company is in the process of acquiring the Ghaghoo mine in Botswana through its subsidiary, Okwa Diamonds, in which it holds a 10% interest. The mine, which Gem Diamonds currently owns, has been on care and maintenance since 2017 amid operational difficulties. Botswana Diamonds believes it has the technology to deal with those challenges and make the mine viable, it said. It can also earn up to an additional 20% interest in Okwa, it noted.
Ghaghoo contains 20.5 million carats of rough, valued at approximately $200 per carat, according to its most recent resource estimate, Botswana Diamonds explained. The plant has an output capacity of 300,000 to 400,000 carats a year. The company expects to complete the purchase within the first half of 2022.
“This is a very rare opportunity to acquire a proven deposit of good gem-quality stones, together with a built mine and full plant,” Teeling said.
Meanwhile, Botswana Diamonds hopes to use the existing plant at Ghaghoo to process any output from its KX36 deposit, which lies about 70 kilometers to its south. That site contains approximately 8.6 million carats. The miner believes there are further diamondiferous kimberlite pipes nearby and holds two prospecting licenses that will allow it to explore the surrounding area, it noted.
Botswana Diamonds also owns late-stage exploration venture Sunland, as well as Sekaka, a site in the early stage of prospecting, it added.
The company posted a loss of GBP 557,499 ($739,237) for the full year.