Lucara Diamond Corp. has announced a 54% increase in the indicated resources of the South Lobe of its Karowe Mine in Botswana, as it undertakes its feasibility study for a potential underground operation. The significant increaase in the availability of diamonds, as well the increased contribution of the higher grade, higher value EM/PK(S) geological ore unit, where some of Karowe's most valuable diamonds, including the 1,109 carat Lesedi La Rona and the 813 carat Constellation were found, signfies a significant boost to the future of the mine. The feasibility program included the successful completion of a deep hydrogeological drilling campaign, which did not encounter significant water and has substantially de-risked the overall underground project, indicating the project is likely to move forward.
"The updated mineral resource completed in 2018 highlighted the important contribution of the higher grade, higher value EM/PK(S) geological unit as we mine deeper in the south lobe and has necessarily re-focused our approach to the Karowe Underground study," said Lucara CEO Eira Thomas. "In 2019 we will be evaluating various mining scenarios that have the potential to access this valuable ore as early as possible in the underground mining schedule." Feasibility Level study ("FS") for a potential underground operation at the Karowe Diamond Mine, with the aim of extending mine-life from 2026 to at least 2036.
In 2018, following the release of a positive Preliminary Economic Assessment, Lucara undertook a US$29 million technical program to support a Feasibility Level study ("FS") for a potential underground operation at the Karowe Diamond Mine, with the aim of extending mine-life from 2026 to at least 2036. The company is working to develop a fit-for-purpose underground mine design that will work to optimize and maximize the economic returns of the underground project, and expects the feasibility study will be completed by in the second half of 2019. The company has spent $23 million out of a 2018 budget of $29 million in support of this work, and the Board of Directors have approved a budget of US$14.8 million to complete the technical program and the FS study in 2019.