Botswana Diamonds’ associate Vutomi Mining has been granted a mining permit covering the diamond bearing gravels and residual unprocessed stockpiles surrounding the iconic Marsfontein Mine, in South Africa.
“I am delighted that the Marsfontein mining permit has been granted and that site establishment has already commenced,” said company chairperson John Teeling.
The AIM and BSE listed diamond explorer has a 40% stake in Vutomi, which partnered with Eurafrican Diamond Corporation (EDC) to mine and process the identified deposits on both Marsfontein and Thorny River.
EDC is said to have commenced with site establishment and commissioning is expected to commence within the next two weeks with production ramping-up once commissioning is complete.
Cash flows from Marsfontein will be used to fund ongoing exploration work in Botswana and South Africa.
The Marsfontein mine, which comprises a kimberlite blow, was operated for two years in the late 1990’s with a pay-back of its entire development cost in less than four days.
Marsfontein’s run of mine grade was 172cpht and its assortment was known to contain fancy coloured diamonds.
“Evaluation work on the gravels and residual stockpiles adjacent to and surrounding the mine, conducted at the time of mining, indicated them to be diamondiferous with favourable economics,” said Botswana Diamonds.
These deposits were overlooked when the mine was closed.