Following Recovery of Best Mothae Diamond, Lucapa Earns $6M at Sale

Mining and Exploration
08/08/2019 11:19

Following the discovery of a 64-carat rough that the company considers the highest-quality diamond from the Mothae Mine to date, Lucapa Diamond Company has announced earnings of $6.2 million (AUS$8.8 million) from the latest sales of diamonds from the Lulo alluvial mine in Angola and the Mothae kimberlite mine in Lesotho. The latest sales from Lulo and Mothae take total sales from both mines to US$35.5 million (A$50.2 million) for the year to date.

The run of mine parcel of 3,558 carats of Lulo diamonds sold for gross proceeds of US$4.4 million (A$6.3 million) representing an average price per carat of US$1,234 (A$1,768). This took total sales of Lulo diamonds to date in 2019 to US$26.5 million at an average price per carat of US$2,764. The latest sale did not include the high-value 46-carat Lulo pink diamond, which is being considered for cutting and polishing by the Lulo partners to capture margins from beyond the mine gate. Lulo alluvial mining company Sociedade Mineira Do Lulo (“SML”) is planning a second diamond sale in Q3 2019.

The parcel of 4,376 carats of Mothae diamonds sold for gross proceeds of US$1.8 million (A$2.5 million). This represented an average price per carat of US$400 (A$579) for the run of mine production and US$475 (A$688) per carat for diamonds in the +11 sieve size fraction. The sale result was impacted by the decision to withhold from sale the highest-valued Mothae diamond in the tender – a 36-carat D-colour stone. This diamond is also being considered for cutting and polishing to capture margins from beyond the mine gate. The latest sale took total Mothae sales to date in 2019 to US$9.0 million (A$12.9 million) at an average price per carat of US$539 (A$767) and US$661 (A$941) for the +11 sieve size fraction. 

As announced 6 August 2019, recent recoveries at Mothae have included a 64-carat D-colour Type IIa gem from the higher-margin southern pit. Lucapa began production in that area in the past month, following the construction of a dam enabling it to remove water. “The recovery of this exceptional 64-carat gem...represents a great start to our mining campaign in the higher-margin zones in the southern pit at Mothae,” said Lucapa CEO Stephen Wetherall. The company intends to continue processing from that portion of the site through the end of the year, it noted.