Botswana Diamonds (LON:BOD) said Tuesday its associated firm Vutomi had received permission to sell diamonds recovered during a bulk sampling program at the Thorny River project in South Africa.
The 256 carats of rough diamonds to be sold by Vutomi, in which Botswana Diamonds holds a 40% interest, are expected to generate short-term cash flow to further develop the project.
Last year, Botswana completed Thorny River’s technical and economic study, which indicated potentially positive economics using the top end of the 46-74 carats per hundred tonnes grade and $120-$220 per carat value ranges.
Botswana, which was overtaken by Russia as the world’s top diamond producing country in 2014, is grappling with aging mines, as well as power and water shortages.
Still, the nation is home to some of the world’s most prolific diamond mines, including Lucara Diamond’s (TSX:LUC) Karowe operation, where the now-famous Lesedi la Rona, the second-largest gem-quality diamond to ever be found, was unearthed in 2016.
Besides diamonds, the country also produces nickel, copper, coal and iron ore.