Modern Mining

Tsodilo Resources , listed on the TSX-V, has completed a Pilot Hole Drill (PHD) programme on its wholly owned BK16 kimberlite project in Botswana. The purpose of programme was to drill pilot holes on the sites which have been earmarked for the Large Diameter Drill (LDD) drilling programme.

The BK16 kimberlite project is located within the Orapa Kimberlite Field (OKF). In 2016 the OKF area produced 8,85 million carats. Of the 83 known kimberlite bodies in the OKF, 11 have been or are currently being mined. These are AK01, AK02 and AK07 (Orapa, Debswana), AK06 (Karowe, Lucara), BK01, BK09, BK12 and BK15 (Damtshaa, Debswana), DK01 and DK02 (Letlhakane, Debswana) and BK11 (Firestone Diamonds).

The diamondiferous BK16 kimberlite pipe – discovered in 1970 – is approximately 6 hectares in size at surface, and is known to contain rare and valuable Type IIa diamonds. Kimberlite phases VK2 and VK3 are volumetrically the most important and will be the focus of the LDD programme.

The positioning of the initial 14 LDD holes is designed to provide grade estimates for the main kimberlite phases as well as initial grade distribution across the kimberlite. Z Star Mineral Resource Consultants of Cape Town were retained to optimise these objectives. The hole diameter of the LDD holes will be 24-inch and the planned 14 holes will provide some 2 000 tons of kimberlite.

In order to correlate the diamond recoveries directly to the geological model and to ensure that the intersection of the LDD holes are maximised, it was necessary to probe all LDD sites with NQ size diamond core holes. The PHD programme, as well as earlier delineation drilling, was conducted utilising Tsodilo’s Atlas Copco CT14 diamond core drill rigs. All bits used were of a Wuxi-Tsodilo design and contained only synthetic industrial diamond.

All pilot and delineation core holes were logged in the field in detail according to a standard operating procedure, describing each kimberlitic unit, measuring contacts between various units as well as kimberlite/country rock contacts and brief descriptions of country rock.

Core recovered from the pilot hole drilling is stored at Tsodilo’s Letlhakane exploration camp. The core has been labelled, photographed and the information captured in the company's database.

Tsodilo, which acquired the rights to BK16 in 2014, announced in May this year that it had been awarded another key prospecting licence – PL217/2016 – in the OKF. It covers 580 sq km, lies south of the Orapa and Damtshaa mines and is approximately 20 km from BK16.

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Title: Editor
Name: Arthur Tassell
Email: mining@crown.co.za
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