Alrosa and Botswana Diamonds will jointly conduct exploration work at its PL117 license project in the Orapa region.

To define exact drill targets, both the companies will conduct further soil sampling, geophysical and geochemical work while the drilling is expected to commence during the second quarter of 2014.

Botswana Diamonds chairman John Teeling said that the company has identified license PL117 as a key focus and aims to locate high priority targets using Alrosa’s diamond exploration technology to which we expect to drill.

"Alrosa will add their unique exploration skills to our team’s knowledge, skills and experience to identify the best targets.

"In addition to this work on PL117, we are confident that we will soon announce the successful acquisition of new ground that will be worked under our Alrosa JV.

"These are exciting times for our company and, we believe, for Botswana as a world-leading diamond producing country."