Australian junior miner Lucapa Diamond Company has recovered the first diamonds from its 70% owned Mothae kimberlite mine in Lesotho, the company reports in an ASX announcement. The diamonds were recovered through the existing bulk sampling plant and infrastructure at Mothae, which has been refurbished ahead of schedule, as part of the previously announced bulk sampling program (BSP). The initial diamond recoveries - sourced from residual material and kimberlite stockpiles that are not included in the Mothae JORC resource - were observed during a site visit to Mothae by Lucapa representatives, advisors, brokers and investors following the Mining Indaba Conference in Cape Town. The largest of the diamonds recovered in the first test run was 6.6 carats.
Lucapa acquired 70 percent of the high-qualiy advanced stage Mothae Kimberlite project in Lesotho last January for US$9 million dollars, following a competitive international tender process. Mothae has existing infrastructure and camp in place including a diamond processing plant. They view it as a complementary fit with the Lulo mine which has a similarly high-value diamond production. The BSP is designed to provide additional resource and diamond data to expand the life of mine, while also generating early cash flows. Construction of the new 150 tph processing plant, including an XRT large-diamond recovery circuit, continues and remains on schedule for full commissioning and commercial production in H2 2018. Mothae has an indicated and inferred resource of one million carats and is just 5km from Letšeng, the world’s highest dollars-per-carat kimberlite diamond mine in the world. Trial mining has proven that similar to Letšeng, Mothae hosts large, premium-value and Type IIa diamonds.