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Diamond exploration and development company Botswana Diamonds says mining on the Marsfontein project, in Limpopo, South Africa, is a proof of concept that is working well.

Marsfontein is designed to provide information to assist the company’s Thorny River development.

“Despite a slow start, with equipment and weather issues, the project is delivering better-than-expected grades and diamond values. This augurs well for our adjacent Thorny River development, which is expected to commence in the latter half of 2023,” highlights chairperson John Teeling.

Site establishment began during the latter part of January, with the first diamonds having been recovered from the gravels and dumps surrounding the historic pit during March. 

As noted, diamond recoveries and values have been above expectations. To date 1 481 ct have been recovered from the project, with the largest diamond recovered being a low-quality 24.6 ct diamond. Several special or high-value diamonds have also been recovered.

Mining and processing activities are ongoing.

Thorny River is currently expected to go into production during the course of the second half of the year.