Following their announcement earlier this month about achieving record levels of rough diamond production at their Lulo Diamond Project in Angola in Q3 of 2016, Australia's Lucapa Diamond Co. has now announced corresponding record levels of sales during the same period. Sales of 12,438 carats during the three-month period represent a 206% jump in Q3 2016 compared to 2015, while the value of those sales rose 1,343%, from $716,551 in 2015 to over $10.3 million in 2016. This took sales in the first nine months of calendar year 2016 to $36.5 million, up 904% on the year prior. The average price per carat for the first nine months have also taken an exceptional leap, jumping 371% to $2,935 per carat from $655 a year earlier. As with all previous Lulo diamond sales, the sales were conducted in Luanda by SODIAM, the Angolan Government's diamond marketing division.
During the quarter, Lucapa reported a maiden profit of $3.3 million for the half year to 30 June 2016. At 30 September, their cash balance stood at $7 million, with continued recoveries of high quality and value specials expected to further improve their cash position. Lucapa announced earlier this month the successful commissioning of a new wet front end at the processing plant and installation of a new XRT large diamond recovery and sorting stream. The company will be stepping up exploration at the L259 target and other high-priority kimberlite targets in anticipation of licence renewal. Two additional drilling rigs have been secured to expedite drilling.