The Luachi diamond mine, whose commercial operation is planned to start in 2018, has reserves estimated at 350 million carats and a lifespan of 29 years, said Carlos Sumbula, president of Angolan diamond company Endiama on Thursday. This would make it one of the largest diamond mines by volume in the world. Sumbala also said the mine, in the province of Lunda Sul, will occupy an area of 100 hectares and will be excavated to an estimated depth of 400 metres. Geological and geophysical surveying of the area began in 2008 and resulted in the discovery of kimberlite in 2009. “Up to a depth of about 400 meters we will remove something like 350 million tons of material and the geological survey we conducted revealed that the content of diamond is about one carat per ton and 12 million carats per year,” he said, quoted by Angolan news agency Angop. Endiama will invest about US$300 million in the first phase of the project, Sumbula said. Total investment to the last stage, ” in about six years,” will be over US$800 million.