In the last two months, Pangolin Diamonds (PAN-V) has discovered two of the seven new kimberlites found in Botswana over the last five years and added as a consultant Manfred Marx, a diamond geologist who led the field team that in 1967 discovered De Beers’ Orapa mine, the second-largest diamond mine in the world, with annual sales of $1 billion.
The two kimberlites on Pangolin’s 100%-owned Tsabong North property are about 100 km north of Tsabong in southwestern Botswana and on the western edge of the Archaean Kaapvaal craton, immediately north of the Tsabong kimberlite field, one of the largest diamondiferous kimberlite fields in the world.
Adding to the company’s pedigree is chairman Leon Daniels, who was part of the Falconbridge team that developed the geological model of the 180-hectare M1 kimberlite discovered in 1978 in the Tsabong kimberlite field, which is now owned by Firestone Diamonds (FDI-L).
The 1,546-sq-km Tsabong North property, about 280 km southwest of the Jwaneng mine, the world’s most profitable diamond mine with over US$2 billion in revenues and more than US$1.8 billion in operating profit a year, is Pangolin’s priority target.
Soil sampling has produced highly anomalous concentrations of kimberlite indicators there and microprobe analyses of garnets have confirmed the presence of G10 garnets, indicative of the presence of a mantle conducive to the crystallization of diamonds.
The junior has run aeromagnetic surveys that have identified 50 targets and says the craton margin location of the project is similar to that of kimberlites in Lesotho known to host large, high-value Type II diamonds.
Pangolin notes that the new kimberlite found at Tsabong North has an aeromagnetic anomaly of more than 20 hectares.
After inspecting core samples from both kimberlites, named Magi-01 and Magi-02, the company reported that consulting geologist Marx “infers that they may contain micaceous sandy tuffs similar to those observed in the lamproite volcanic structure at the Argyle diamond mine.” According to Pangolin, the Argyle mine is the world’s largest producer of natural coloured diamonds.
The company also says the mantle-derived garnets from Tsabong North are very similar in chemical composition to the garnets from the kimberlite of the Letlhakane mine in the Orapa area.
Tsabong North is just one of Pangolin’s eleven prospecting licences in Botswana that stretch across an area of 5,307 square kilometres and include Jwaneng South, Lorolwane, Malatswae and Madinare.
The company has two diamond drill rigs and a portable one-tonne-per-hour dense media separation plant that it uses to prepare samples and make diamond concentrates.