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AN Irish AIM-listed diamond exploration company is to begin drilling next month in Botswana as part of a new venture.

Botswana Diamonds announced at the company's AGM in London that drilling will start in February on a 100pc-owned licence in the Orapa region of Botswana.

The legal details of a joint venture between the company and a major diamond producer are being finalised.

John Teeling, chairman, commented: "In the past year, Botswana Diamonds has made significant progress, both in the development of our prospective asset portfolio and in terms of taking big steps to becoming a stronger company."