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Location: Orapa, Botswana
Acquired: Prospecting License awarded to Firestone Diamonds in March 2007 followed by a Mining Licence in July 2010
Ownership: Firestone Diamonds controls 90%, with a group of local investors owning the remaining 10%
Total resource: 9.6 hectare kimberlite at surface. Total Mineral Resource of over 29 million tonnes at a grade of 44 carats per hundred tonnes, containing circa 1.2 million carats
In situ value: The average price of the BK11 crater facies was estimated at US$137 per carat and the coarser West zone at US$157 per carat both at a 1mm bottom cut off
Status: On care and maintenance since February 2012
The BK11 kimberlite mine is located in the Orapa kimberlite field in northern Botswana. BK11 is located approximately 10 kilometres west and 20 kilometres southeast of De Beers’ Letlhakane and Orapa mines, respectively, and is within 5 kilometres of Lucara’s Karowe mine.
Initial pit design work indicates that approximately 12 Mt of kimberlite can be extracted at an average grade of 8 carats per hundred tonnes containing circa 0.9 million carats. Phase 1 of the BK11 production plant commenced in August 2010 but was placed on care and maintenance in February 2012 as a result of the plant’s inability to successfully liberate diamonds. Phase 2 which included secondary and tertiary crushing circuits and connection to the existing electrical power infrastructure remains to be implemented.
The Board is considering various strategic alternatives to seek ways to unlock shareholder value, for its Botswana operation, including disposal or potential joint venture options.