Monday, December 11, 2023

Lucara announces retirement of chairman

Lucara Diamond Corp this past week announced that its chairperson and director – Lukas Lundin has indicated his intention to retire from the Board.

Lundin is set to leave the Lucara board upon the completion of his term at the Company’s upcoming 2022 Annual Meeting of Shareholders. Eira Thomas, President and CEO, commented, “On behalf of the Board and management team of Lucara, I want to thank Lukas for his invaluable contributions to the Company as a founder and visionary, who was instrumental in transforming Karowe into one of the world’s leading, high margin diamond mines, renowned for its recovery of large, high value diamonds and the only mine in recorded history to have recovered three diamonds in excess of 1000 carats. With his ongoing support, we look forward to a long and successful future at Karowe, expanding the mine underground and extending mine-life out until at least 2040.”

Given the significant Lundin family ownership of Lucara shares (~24.5%), it is the family’s intention to recommend ongoing representation on the Lucara Board of Directors. The Company’s Corporate Governance and Nominating Committee will evaluate and assess the skills and experience for any director nominee to replace Lundin, to ensure that Lucara retains the skills and experience necessary for a competent board. The director nominee will stand for election at Lucara’s Annual General Meeting, scheduled to be held on May 6, 2022 in Vancouver, Canada.

Lucara Diamond Corp, which owns the large gem churning Karowe mine, has upped its targets as it anticipates strong diamond sales on the back of positive sentiments which have spurred strong demand for the shiny stones.

The diamond industry, which went on a recession in 2017, is shinning bright as it returns to its glory days, thanks to a resurgence this year. In turn, Lucara has forecasted that it will mine between 300,000 to 340,000 carats in 2022, and the rough diamonds are expected to fetch between $185 million to $215 million.

The strong projection for next year comes as the Karowe mine continues to impress, recovering three top white gem quality diamonds, 341 carats, 378 carats and the 393.5 carats earlier this year. In July, Lucara dazzled the world with an announcement of a 62.7 carat pink diamond, described as a high-quality, fancy pink, Type IIa gem, and given the name “Boitumelo”. The company said the 62.7 carat Boitumelo diamond is the largest fancy pink gem to be recovered in Botswana and one of the world’s largest rough pink diamonds on record.

The Karowe mine has been a profitable acquisition for Lucara after it bought 70 percent of the mine in 2009 from De Beers for just $49 million. It later acquired 100 percent ownership of the mine when it bought African Diamonds for $70.3 million in stock. Since then, Karowe mine has been a rare source of exceptional diamonds with its consistent recovery of large high value diamonds. Although it produces less than 1 percent of world’s diamonds, the mine is recovering more than 50 percent of the world’s diamonds larger than 100 carats.


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