Kopje, Aim-listed Paragon Diamonds’ wholly owned Botswana subsidiary has secured exploration rights for the prospecting of precious stones over a 442 km2 region in the Kgalagadi district of southern Botswana.

The three-year licence, expiring September 30, 2016, could be renewed twice for two-year periods, provided 50% of the area was relinquished at each renewal.

The award of this licence will complement Paragon Diamonds’ holdings of historical kimberlite discoveries. The organisation claims to be highly familiar with this area and the era of work having been part of the team that discovered the Lekgudu kimberlites to the south-west in the 1970s.

Paragon Diamonds publicised a coupleof days ago that the licensed area covered part of the Tsabong kimberlite field, which had been addressed as an extraordinary owing to many large diatremes, including M1, which at 180 ha was one of the largest kimberlite bodies in the world.

The tectonic setting of the Tsabong kimberlites is said to be the same as that of the Orapa diamond field, an area home to numerous major kimberlite mines.

Historical work in the western area of the licence showed kimberlite indicator minerals. Such indications included G9 and G10 garnets and ilmenites, and had resulted in the recovery of a 0.5 mm diamond.

The recovery of a diamond in widely spaced soil sampling, less than 5 km from undrilled magnetic anomalies and on the margin of the extensive Tsabong kimberlite field, was extremely important.

This work was completed at a very broad investigation level and there is substantial scope to follow up these results. In addition, aeromagnetic surveying has recognised 10 targets that have not yet been drilled. Paragon planned to continue its strategy of applying modern-day sampling protocols to historical discoveries to correctly assess grade and diamond values.

The company said it would embark on a thorough review of the historical results and existing data, including extensive geophysical and mineralogical results on open file with the Geological Survey of Botswana.