A delegation of ministers and miners from the mountain Kingdom of Lesotho visited the Antwerp World Diamond Centre (AWDC) and its Diamond Office today for the final days of the first run-of-mine tender of diamonds from Lucapa's Mothae mine, held at Bonas tender house. About 5,000 carats will be up for grabs in Antwerp and is said to include specials from Mothae, featuring high color whites weighing 78 carats and 38 carats as well as an 89-carat yellow. We will provide additional information from the sale when available. For the entire Antwerp tender schedule, click here.
The visit included the honourable Minister Mr Keketso Sello from the Ministry of Mining, Mr Ntahli Matete, Principal Secretary Ministry of Mining, Mr Pheello Tjatja, Commissioner of Mines and Mr Stephen Wetherall, CEO and Managing Director of Lucapa Diamond Company. While commercial production only commenced at Mothae in January 2019, the new 1.1Mtpa plant has already demonstrated its ability to operate at throughput rates in excess of nameplate capacity. The Mothae plant was originally designed with the intention of doubling throughput to 2.2Mtpa in 2021, but they believe the capacity plant can be significantly increased earlier with relatively minor modifications. Stephen Wetherall says that “Lulo and Mothae are two of the highest US$ per carat diamond mines in the world. The ability to increase production at our two mines, coupled with the significant marketing policy changes in Angola, leaves Lucapa ideally positioned to deliver additional value in 2019.”