TAW - Tawana Resources NL - Announcement Release Date: 23/10/2007 08:27:40 Code(s): TAW
TAW - Tawana Resources NL - Announcement
Tawana Resources NL
(Incorporated in Australia)
(Registration number ACN 085 166 721)
Share code on the JSE Limited: TAW ISIN: AU000000TAW7
Share code on the Australian Stock Exchange Limited: TAW ISIN: AU000000TAW7
("Tawana" or "the Company")
Date of lodgement: 23-Oct-2007
Title: Open Briefing . Tawana. Progress on Trial Mining & Bulk Sampling
Record of interview:
Tawana Resources NL (ASX code - TAW) is exploring for diamonds in South Africa,
Botswana and Australia. You recently announced that larger than expected
diamonds have been recovered during the first week of processing of the initial
bulk sample collected at the Riverton kimberlite project in South Africa. How
much kimberlite has been processed so far? What is the quality of the diamonds
MD Wolf Marx
So far we`ve processed approximately 1500 tonnes, but the important thing is
that it`s only partially processed. We`re processing the kimberlite in phases
with the minus 6 mm free milling material processed first. The oversize
material, plus 6 mm to minus 16 mm is stockpiled for processing later.
So we currently don`t have the complete results for the material excavated and
we simply don`t know the final grade and diamond quality yet. However, the
diamonds recovered so far from the minus 6 mm fractions from certain areas of
the kimberlite are, on average, larger than one would expect from a kimberlite.
How successful are these first results? How do the results compare with
MD Wolf Marx
The first results were way beyond expectations. The average stone size from
diamonds from kimberlites in that Northern Cape, Kimberley region is around 0.2-
0.25 carat per stone. However, the average size for the stones we`ve recovered
so far from the main portion of the kimberlite exceeds this.
It really came as a surprise even though we`ve been told anecdotally by people
associated with past diggings there - there are no proper records of previous
diggings on that kimberlite - that the diamonds from Riverton were, in their
words, of `good` size. Of good size normally in the Kimberley region means that
they are similar to the diamonds from the alluvials in the Vaal River, which are
known to be very big stones.
What is the remainder of the program in terms of number of samples and tonnes?
When do you expect the next results?
MD Wolf Marx
The total program is to fully process in excess of 2,000 tonnes including the
oversize and we`re on track to complete that by the end of November. All the
diamonds will then be valued.
How accurately do results from bulk sampling of kimberlite projects predict the
commercial viability of a project?
MD Wolf Marx
The program we`re undertaking at the moment will only give a preliminary
indication of the commercial viability of the project. To define a Resource for
diamonds under the JORC Code guidelines, one needs to recover at least 2,000
carats to get an accurate valuation of the diamonds from the pipe.
This program is designed to get an understanding of what the diamonds look like,
an indication of the grade and the diamond distribution in the pipe. We know
there are at least three different types of kimberlites in the pipe, which is
quite common for these sorts of structures. We need to understand whether they
are all diamondiferous and whether there is any difference in the diamonds
between each kimberlite type.
What is required for Tawana to progress the project past this bulk sampling
MD Wolf Marx
It will depend on the grade and value mix. We will progress past this bulk
sampling stage if the grade and value combination indicate that the project
could be viable when taking into account current mining costs in South Africa.
We`ve been advised by Snowden that our Kareevlei Wes project (TAW 74%), which is
in the same region as Riverton, is likely to have mining costs of around US$7.50
per tonne. The next stage of the Riverton project would be to do bulk sampling
of at least 8,000 tonnes.
Trial mining is soon to commence at Kareevlei Wes (TAW 74%). Can you describe
the current state of the project? How valuable is the project potentially?
What are the objectives of the trial mining program at Kareevlei Wes?
MD Wolf Marx
The 25 tonne per hour DMS plant has been constructed on site. The construction,
apart from the scrubbing circuit, is complete including the infrastructure and
tailings dam. We`re hoping to get the scrubbing circuit into place in the next
month or so.
Kareevlei is a valuable project for Tawana as it is clearly our most advanced.
We`ve done a lot of drilling and bulk sampling there in the past and the
indications are that the in-situ value is US$12-15 per tonne, or at least double
the mining costs per tonne estimated for that region by Snowden. The trial
mining program is designed to firm up those numbers by getting a definitive
number for the grade and value of the stones.
When will you know whether you will proceed to a commercial development?
MD Wolf Marx
The decision on whether we proceed with a commercial development should be made
in the first half of 2008.
Tawana has a Prospecting Licence over BK19-BK26 kimberlite field in Botswana.
Why do you think you might be able to advance this project when De Beers passed
it over? What are the next steps?
MD Wolf Marx
It`s an important question. We were only granted the prospecting license there
in April, but our understanding of this project has progressed rapidly. It is
located in an area near the Orapa field with a rich history of diamond mining.
De Beers discovered the Orapa pipe in 1967 and in fact my brother was the
geologist on site. The Orapa pipe is a monster, covering about 100 hectares.
They started mining it in 1974 and the open cut phase of the mine is expected to
go until 2060.
They`ve subsequently found about 70 kimberlites in that province of which five
are currently being mined. The AK6 kimberlite is currently in the pre-
feasibility phase. This pipe was discovered by De Beers and then relinquished
because they thought it was too small and too low grade. African Diamonds,
which is listed on AIM, proved it to be about three times the size and double
the grade De Beers thought it was. De Beers joint ventured back into the
project and judging by the numbers that have been publicly released, it`s
definitely going to be the next mine in that province.
The understanding of the geological structures in the province has improved, as
have the modern exploration techniques. So that has given us additional
encouragement to take on the project. There are 8 kimberlites within our
prospecting license and our geophysical work indicates that some of those
kimberlites certainly look bigger than De Beers reported them. There is some
indication that there might also be additional kimberlites.
We started drilling recently on the known kimberlites and the new targets. That
program will test a number of those new targets and also do some initial
delineation drilling on the known kimberlites. The material extracted from the
kimberlites will be transported to our Flowsort x-ray unit in Kimberley, South
Africa, for diamond recovery.
Can you summarise the activities on your main projects over the next few months
and the importance for the growth ambitions of Tawana?
MD Wolf Marx
We will continue trial mining at Kareevlei Wes, the first phase of the bulk
sampling program at Riverton and drilling on our licences in Botswana. We have
also recently bought 30% of a company holding a Prospecting Right over the St.
Augustines kimberlite located just 600 metres from the famous Big Hole in
Kimberley. This is a development which has attracted a lot of attention.
I think that these will bring a lot more investor attention to Tawana and, in
particular, our activities in Botswana because there has been a distinct shift
in the attention of global diamond investors towards Botswana and away from
places like Canada and Australia. Botswana is one of the lowest risk countries
for exploration and mining and foreign investment in Africa, even worldwide.
The success rate in finding commercially viable diamond deposits is second to
none and that includes junior explorers who have had quite spectacular
successes. So I think there will be renewed attention on Tawana and certainly
we`ll be pursuing the Orapa project and our other Southern African projects very
Thank you Wolf.
For further information on Tawana Resources visit www.tawana.com.au or call Wolf
Marx on +61 (3) 9863 5235.
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Date: 23/10/2007 08:27:39 Supplied by www.sharenet.co.za
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