Botswana Diamonds (LON:BOD) said on Monday it had recovered 11 diamonds and “abundant” kimberlitic indicators from drill samples at its Thorny River project in South Africa’s Limpopo province.
The diamond explorer said that following a “detailed” ground geophysical program carried out in October, six reverse circulation holes were drilled into the newly-discovered River Kimberlite pipe.
“The recovery of so many kimberlitic indicators and in particular diamonds, which are very rare to recover in small sample narrow reverse circulation drill holes is highly encouraging and bodes well for the potential commerciality of this exciting discovery,” the company said after analyzing the drilling samples.
Botswana Diamonds noted the gems recovered were all of “good colour and clarity”, and were of commercial quality of a type in high demand.
It said the diamonds were not weighed, as the sample size was small, adding that they were not representative of a possible population.
Shares in the company jumped on the news and were trading 11.2% higher in London at 0.95p by 11:00 am local time. The miner’s market capitalization is sitting at £7.4 million.
The next step would be to undertake a detailed core drilling program, which is planned for the dry season, the company said.
The Thorny River project is located in the northern Limpopo province and the volume of its main deposit has been modelled at between 1.2 and 2 million tonnes (to 100m). It has a diamond grade ranging between 46 and 74 cpht and diamond values in the range of $120 and $220 per carat.
Botswana, which was overtaken by Russia as the world’s top diamond producing country in 2014, is grappling with aging mines, as well as power and water shortages.
Still, the nation is home to some of the world’s most prolific diamond mines, including Lucara Diamond’s (TSX:LUC) Karowe operation, where the now-famous Lesedi la Rona, the second-largest gem-quality diamond to ever be found, was unearthed in 2016.
Besides diamonds, the country also produces nickel, copper, coal and iron ore.