Botswana Diamonds has announced a deal with the world’s largest diamond producer, Russian’s Alrosa.
According to a release from the board of Botswana Diamonds, the public listed diamond explorer has reached an agreement to explore in Botswana, and it was signed by Atlas Minerals (Pty) Ltd (Botswana), a wholly owned subsidiary of Botswana Diamonds, and by Sunland Holdings SA (Switzerland), a wholly owned subsidiary of OJSC Alrosa of Russia.
Alrosa is the world’s largest rough diamond producer by volume. The company operates 17 diamond mines and holds one of the highly successful exploration records. According to the statement, the agreement will give the company access to some of the state of the art exploration technology developed by Alrosa, which they say will be applied in Botswana for the first time. The agreement worth an initial US$1 million (P8.5m), will have the two companies go splits on investment as they will equally contribute. “The joint venture will utilise and merge the exploration technology available to Sunland with the on ground expertise and extensive diamond database held by Botswana Diamonds,” the statement read.
Botswana Diamonds said applications have been lodged for prospecting licences in the Orapa region. The first ground has been obtained and work is expected to commence during the third quarter of 2013.
John Teeling, chairperson and Botswana Diamonds shareholder, said in a statement, “We are delighted with this agreement. This is good news for Botswana Diamonds and for Botswana itself. We have already been working together for over 18 months on selecting the best ground in the Orapa and Gope areas of Botswana and we have multiple targets. More diamond deposits remain to be discovered in Botswana. The unique technologies being brought to bear on the Kalahari sands improves the chances of success.”