- The potential for a discovery of new nickel sulphide deposits and a possible extensions to known nickel mineralisations in north-east Botswana were announced yesterday. An Australian company is now testing ten newly identified nickel sulphide deposits in the area.
The Australia-listed company Discovery Nickel yesterday announced its commencement of a drill programme to test ten newly identified conductors at the company's Lentswe and Dikoloti prospects in north-eastern Botswana. Although the area has been known to hold nickel deposits for a long time, there are currently no mining operations in the area.
Discovery Nickel's Managing Director Jeremy Read commented that a recently conducted survey had been "extremely successful, confirming the potential for the discovery of new nickel sulphide deposits and possible extensions to the known nickel mineralisation at Lentswe and Dikoloti."
- You don't come across results like this very often, Mr Read said. "Our level of confidence has now grown dramatically with these latest results confirming the possibility for the discovery of new sites of nickel sulphide mineralisation and potentially increasing the known nickel resource at Dikoloti," he added.
As the nickel discoveries at Lentswe and Dikoloti are growing in number and extension, the possibility for future mining operations in this part of Botswana are as well. The nickel mineralisation levels found at the site are similar to those in operational mines.
Nickel is already mined in Botswana and is among the country's most important metal exports and employing industries. Selebi-Phikwe is the current centre of Botswana's copper, nickel and cobalt mining industry, located east in the country, close to the Zimbabwean and South African borders. Botswana is already among Africa's largest nickel producers.
Nickel mining in Selebi-Phikwe is operated by Bamangwato Concessions Limited, a company that is partially owned by the Batswana government. Another minor nickel mine is located at Tati, close to Francistown and the Zimbabwean border. More mines are found across the border.
Nickel is mostly produced and exported as a copper-nickel matte from Botswana. The crude product is sent to countries with low energy prices for refining. Nickel, cobalt and copper mining are among the largest employment sectors in Botswana. Revenues from this industry are however far behind Botswana's diamond mining revenues.
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