Botswana Diamonds confident of South Africa discovery

Irish exploration company has been working in a previously unexplored part of province

Irish exploration company Botswana Diamonds has said it expects to locate diamonds in a previously unexplored region of South Africa after tests were completed.

The John Teeling-chaired group has been working in a 50,000 hectare area of the central province of South Africa, close to Kimberley, where a number of diamond mines are believed to have existed some time prior to 1880.

Botswana Diamonds last month said its work there, dubbed the Free State Project, had led to the discovery of eight group 1 kimberlites, which are rocks that may contain diamonds.

Since then, detailed ground geophysical survey work was undertaken by Geofocus. The survey work was aimed at determining the surface area of the kimberlites. Results indicate the sizes of these kimberlites range from 0.3 hectares to 1.15 hectares.


The next phase of the project will consist of an analysis of the indicator mineral chemistry for each of the pipes to “determine an economic interest rating” which will prioritise further work.

“We now know the sizes of each pipe/dyke and we believe that each could contain diamonds,” said Mr Teeling. “The next step is to evaluate the diamond indicator minerals in each pipe to decide priorities for drilling.”

Colin Gleeson

Colin Gleeson

Colin Gleeson is an Irish Times reporter