London-based Gem Diamonds, a leading global producer of high value diamonds whose main resource is the Letšeng mine in the Maluti Mountains of Lesotho (70% ownership), and Canadian junior Lucara Diamonds, which sports a similar profile with its 100% owned high-value Karowe Mine in Botswana, have made new appointments in their senior management. Gem Diamonds announced that Johnny Velloza, currently Chief Operating Officer, has been appointed Deputy Chief Executive Officer of the Company, effective May 2 2018. Velloza will join the Company’s Board with effect from July 1 2018, and will continue to be responsible for the company’s operations.
Meanwhile, Lucara Diamond Corp. has appointed Naseem Banu Lahri as Managing Director of Boteti Mining – Lucara’s 100% owned subsidiary in Botswana, effective immediately. Naseem Lahri has more than 17 years' experience in the mining industry, including 10 years within Corporate Finance at Debswana at the senior management level. She has served as Boteti's CFO and Director since March 2013, and in her expanded role as Managing Director, Boteti, she will have oversight in all aspects of the business and as a matter of priority, working closely with General Manager Johane Mchive to help drive improved performance at the Karowe diamond mine.
Lucara CEO Eira Thomas notes that Lahari is the first woman and the first Motswana woman to serve in this capacity for a diamond company in Botswana. “Lahri combines the skills, experience and depth of knowledge to ably lead our business interests in Botswana, and I am confident that under her stewardship, the maximum, long term value of our Karowe diamond mine will be realised, to the benefit of all stakeholders.”