Canadian diamond miner; Lucara Diamond, will increase the use of XRT diamond sorters to process finer diamond size fractions at its Karowe mine, Botswana, after using the equipment to successfully recover exceptional stones such as the 1,109-carat Lesedi La Rona.
The company will introduce four new XRT diamond recovery units at its Karowe mine, focusing on diamonds ranging from 4 millimeters to 8 millimeters.
The XRT technology, which is already in use at the Karowe mine, will address processing of the very dense high quality south lobe ore at depth. This will result in the most efficient and cost effective processing methodology for processing this ore.
Lucara is investing $30-million on the units, which will process the dense high-quality Karowe south lobe ore at depth. The units are expected to be completed in the fourth quarter of 2017.
Lucara continues to lead the way in the adoption of new technology to streamline the diamond recovery process, with the XRT technology being a proven success for diamond recovery at the company’s Karowe mine.
“The extension of XRT technology to recover the majority of our diamonds at Karowe, maximises our overall processing efficiency and will contribute to continued strong operating margins across the entire value range for our high-quality south lobe says president and CEO, William Lamb.
He adds that the implementation of new sorters will allow for improved control of the size fractions treated by the XRT machines, which is expected to improve production rates.
Large diamond recovery XRT units were used in the recovery of the 1 109 ct Lesedi La Rona, the second-largest diamond ever recovered at Karowe in November last year.
The mega-recovery plant is expected to recover whole diamonds of up to 100 millimetres in size, up from the current plant’s top size of 60 millimetres. Due next year, the project is on schedule and currently in detailed design stage with procurement of long lead items.
Lucara frequently recovers exceptional stones at Karowe and holds special auctions for them, such as the November 2015 auction which featured a 336 carat stone.
This week Minister of Finance & Economic Development, Dr Thapelo Matsheka approached parliament seeking lawmakers approval of Government’s intention to increase bond program ceiling from the current P15 Billion to P30 billion.
“I stand to request this honorable house to authorize increase in bond issuance program from the current P15 billion to P30 billion,” Dr Matsheka said. He explained that due to the halt in economic growth occasioned by COVID-19 pandemic government had to revisit options for funding the national budget, particularly for the second half of the National Development Plan (NDP) 11.
Botswana Stock Exchange (BSE) has this week revealed a gloomy picture of diamond mining newcomer, Lucara, with its stock devaluated and its entire business affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.
A BSE survey for a period between 1st January to 31st August 2020 — recording the second half of the year, the third quarter of the year and five months of coronavirus in Botswana — shows that the Domestic Company Index (DCI) depreciated by 5.9 percent.
Botswana Diamond PLC, a diamond exploration company trading on both London Stock Exchange Alternative Investment Market (AIM) and Botswana Stock Exchange (BSE) on Monday unlocked value from its shares to raise capital for its ongoing exploration works in Botswana and South Africa.
A statement from the company this week reveals that the placing was with existing and new investors to raise £300,000 via the issue of 50,000,000 new ordinary shares at a placing price of 0.6p per Placing Share.
Each Placing Share, according to Botswana Diamond Executives has one warrant attached with the right to subscribe for one new ordinary share at 0.6p per new ordinary share for a period of two years from, 7th September 2020, being the date of the Placing Warrants issue.
In a statement Chairman of Botswana Diamonds, John Teeling explained that the funds raised will be used to fund ongoing exploration activities during the current year in Botswana and South Africa, and to provide additional working capital for the Company.
The company is currently drilling kimberlite M8 on the Marsfontein licence in South Africa and has generated further kimberlite targets which will be drilled on the adjacent Thorny River concession.
In Botswana, the funds will be focused on commercializing the KX36 project following the recent acquisition of Sekaka Diamonds from Petra Diamonds. This will include finalizing a work programme to upgrade the grades and diamond value of the kimberlite pipe as well as investigating innovative mining options.
Drilling is planned for the adjacent Sunland Minerals property and following further assessment of the comprehensive Sekaka database more drilling targets are likely. “This is a very active and exciting time for Botswana Diamonds. We are drilling the very promising M8 kimberlite at Marsfontein and further drilling is likely on targets identified on the adjacent Thorny River ground,” he said.
The company Board Chair further noted, “We have a number of active projects. The recently acquired KX36 diamond resource in the Kalahari offers great potential. While awaiting final approvals from the Botswana authorities some of the funds raised will be used to detail the works we will do to refine grade, size distribution and value per carat.”
In addition BOD said the Placing Shares will rank pari passu with the Company’s existing ordinary shares. Application will be made for the Placing Shares to be admitted to trading on AIM and it is expected that such admission will become effective on or around 23 September 2020.
Last month Botswana Diamond announced that it has entered into agreement with global miner Petra Diamonds to acquire the latter’s exploration assets in Botswana. Key to these assets, housed under Sekaka Diamonds, 100 % subsidiary of Petra is the KX36 Diamond discovery, a high grade ore Kimberlite pipe located in the CKGR, considered Botswana’s next diamond glory after the magnificent Orapa and prolific Jwaneng Mines.
The acquisition entailed two adjacent Prospecting Licences and a diamond processing plant. Sekaka has been Petra’s exploration vehicle in Botswana for year and holds three Prospecting Licenses in the Central Kalahari Game Reserve (Kalahari) PL169/2019, PL058/2007 and PL224/2007, which includes the high grade KX36 kimberlite pipe.