Australian-listed Lucapa Diamond Company Limited recovered an 89.75-carat yellow diamond from the Mothae Diamond Project in Lesotho. The diamond was recovered from the current bulk sampling program at Mothae as construction of the new 150 ton-per-hour commercial diamond plant continues on schedule for H2 2018 commissioning, the company said.
The bulk sampling program is designed to expand and improve the current Mothae JORC Resource by processing areas of the kimberlite pipe which are either not included in the resource, or where Lucapa believes there has been insufficient historical sampling. The 89 carat yellow was recovered from the first few days of processing kimberlite material from the south-east zone.
Lucapa Managing Director Stephen Wetherall said the recovery of such a large diamond so early in the bulk sampling program provides further proof that the Mothae mine is another source of large diamonds, referring to Gem Diamonds' Letšeng mine nearby. “Having recently recovered a 25-carat yellow diamond from the previously untested neck zone in our bulk sampling program, we are tremendously encouraged that this 89-carat diamond was recovered from the south-east zone, an area of the Mothae kimberlite pipe where there has been very limited historical testing,” Wetherall said. “This underlines our belief in Mothae. It also vindicates Lucapa’s decision to commit resources to the additional bulk sampling program as construction of our new 150tph commercial diamond plant continues on schedule for commissioning in the second half of this year.”
Lucapa has production, development and exploration assets in Angola, Lesotho, Australia and Botswana, focusing on high-value diamond production. Their flagship asset is the Lulo Diamond Project in Angola, which has produced 10 diamonds weighing more than 100 carats to date. Lucapa and its Lulo partners continue to advance their search for the primary kimberlite sources of these exceptional alluvial gems, with three drill rigs available in the ongoing kimberlite exploration program. Lucapa is constructing a 150 ton per hour (90,000 tons per month) diamond treatment plant at Mothae, complete with XRT recovery technology, and is scheduled to commence high-value production at Mothae in H2 2018. A bulk sampling plant has been refurbished and Lucapa has commenced testing areas of the kimberlite pipe either not included in the JORC resource or where additional sampling is required.