AFRICAN QUEEN MINES LTD. announce that results of geochemical sampling from its Okavango property in the Ngamiland area of Northwest Botswana have now confirmed the presence of G10 garnets and other kimberlitic indicator minerals on its key diamond targets. The Okavango property comprises three Prospecting Licences covering approximately 2592 km2 held by the Company’s wholly-owned subsidiary, PAM Botswana (Pty.) Ltd. It is situated on a recently recognised extension of the Archaean Congo Craton, which hosts numerous economic kimberlite and alluvial diamond deposits. The property is covered by sands of the Kalahari Desert of variable thickness, averaging approximately 60 m. This helps to account for the fact that the strong targets recently identified by the Company were previously overlooked.
Due to its remote location and sand cover, there is no record of systematic diamond exploration ever having been previously carried out over the Okavango property. High resolution aeromagnetic data covering the area, flown by the Botswana Geological Survey, has been filtered on behalf of the Company by Scott Hogg and Associates of Toronto to highlight circular magnetic targets that are typically associated with kimberlite pipes. Analysis of the filtered data identified numerous bulls-eye magnetic features, consistent with the existence of a virgin sub-Kalahari kimberlite field with potentially as many as 100 or more distinct pipe targets. Ground magnetic and gravity surveys subsequently carried out by the Company over a portion of the bulls-eye aeromagnetic targets identified coincident signatures consistent with kimberlites.
Results of the Company’s surface loam sampling program now received from Mike Scott & Associates laboratory of Johannesburg, South Africa show that several of the coincident magnetic and gravity bulls-eye targets are associated with kimberlitic garnets and ilmenites. This provides strong support for the existence of a sub-Kalahari kimberlite field on the licence area. As kimberlitic garnets tend to disintegrate quickly in the Kalahari environment and the license area is covered with a relatively thick sand cover, discovery of the kimberlitic garnets is highly significant. Of the kimberlitic garnets recovered, a relatively high proportion were G10′s and sodium-rich eclogitic garnets, with compositions matching inclusions in diamonds. This suggests there is a strong potential for the kimberlite targets to be diamondiferous.
On the basis of the Company’s geophysical and mineral chemistry information, numerous priority targets have been identified for core drilling. The Company is now mobilising personnel and finalizing contractual arrangements with a view toward commencing the drill program in February, 2009. According to Irwin Olian, CEO of the Company, “We are very excited with the data being generated from our Okavango diamond property. The convergence of positive geochemical, geophysics and topographic data, together with mapping of the ancient river system, suggest the possibility of a major kimberlite field on the property. We are anxious to get on with the drilling early next year. Dr. Andy Moore, P.Geo., who runs our diamond program, has done a brilliant job with his team of gathering and assembling data from a vast area of remote, sand-covered territory to identify a number of very exciting targets below the Kalahari.”