Botswana Diamonds (LON:BOD) said Tuesday its associated firm Vutomi had received permission to sell diamonds recovered during a bulk sampling program at the Thorny River project in South Africa.
The 256 carats of rough diamonds to
be sold by Vutomi, in which Botswana Diamonds holds a 40% interest, are
expected to generate short-term cash flow to further develop the project.
Last year, Botswana completed
Thorny River’s technical and economic study, which indicated potentially
positive economics using the top end of the 46-74 carats per hundred tonnes
grade and $120-$220 per carat value ranges.
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.