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Aim-listed Botswana Diamonds has raised £500,000 through the placing of 33.33 million new ordinary shares at a price of 1.5p a share.


The placing shares represent about 9.9% of Botswana Diamonds’ issued share capital, which now totals about of 336.97 million shares.


The net proceeds of the placing will fund ongoing diamond exploration in Botswana which is being operated by Botswana Diamonds’ 50/50 joint venture partner Alrosa.


The joint venture, established in 2013, aims to combine Alrosa’s technological expertise in order to identify high potential targets with Botswana Diamonds’ extensive database.


The partnership has increased the amount of early-stage exploration work that Botswana Diamonds is able to undertake and has resulted in further targets being generated and applications submitted.


The proceeds will also provide the company with additional working capital.


“We have a very active ongoing drilling, sampling and geophysics programme on our ground in Botswana. We expect this work to continue through the rest of 2016. This placing ensures we are fully funded,” says Botswana Diamonds chairman John Teeling.


The shares are expected to be admitted to trading on AIM on or around 20 May 2016.


The company began exploration on two licences in Orapa, Botswana in March.


The exploration programme first began on licences in the Orapa area and will be followed by exploration in the Gope area.


Geologists have begun sampling on PLs 260 and 210. PL 260 covers an area of 25 km2 between Lucara Diamond’s Karowe and Debswana’s Orapa diamond mines. It contains three kimberlites AK21, AK22 and AK23, known to contain diamonds.


On the completion of sampling and geophysics on PLs 210 and 260 the geologists will move to the Gope region. Follow up work will be conducted on PLs 135, 136 and 137, where anomalies were confirmed in 2015.