Lucapa's latest sales of rough diamonds from its Lulo (Angola) and Mothae (Lesotho) mines totalled $US10.4 million ($A15.5m), taking combined sales to date for 2019 to $US45.9m ($A65.7m).
A total of 5,469 carats of Lulo diamonds sold for gross proceeds of US$5.9 million (A$8.9 million), representing an average price per carat of US$1,087 (A$1,623). This took total sales of Lulo diamonds to date in 2019 to US$32.4 million (A$46.3 million) at an average price per carat of US$2,155 (A$3,075). These figures do not include the 46 carat pink diamond, which has been exported to Antwerp and is being assessed for polishing. Following this sale, the year to date average price from Lucapa's Lulo stones is $US2,155 a carat, excluding an anticipated large payday from the 46-carat pink which is likely to be sold as a polished gem.
The Mothae sale, however, leaves one with the takeaway that the diamond market for large stones is robust and even gathering steam. Lucapa sold a total of 5,307 carats of Mothae diamonds for gross proceeds of US$4.4 million (A$6.6 million), representing an average price per carat of US$837 (A$1,239) for all production and US$1,031 (A$1,526) per carat for diamonds in the +11 sieve size fraction. These averages are well ahead of the year-to-date average of $US610/ct, bolstered by a 64-carat D-color Type IIa stone that fetched more than $US1m and making it the first commercially-produced diamond from Mothae to exceed the US$1 million threshold. The sales figures also include the 36 carat D-color stone that was held over from the previous Mothae tender. This exceptional diamond has been sold into a cutting and polishing partnership with a leading international diamantaire. The Mothae mine only commenced commercial diamond mining operations in January 2019 and has already recovered seven +50 carat diamonds under Lucapa’s ownership.
Managing Director Stephen Wetherall said, "The efficiency of the new Mothae plant in treating the near surface weathered material has resulted in the liberation of additional diamonds, primarily small stones below the plant’s 3mm bottom cut-off screen size. These additional diamonds are in the -11 and below sieve size fractions and should reduce significantly as mining progresses deeper into unweathered more competent material. While these diamonds generate additional value, they do reduce the overall average US$ per carat price."