Lucara Diamond, the tri-listed diamond miner, has praised its Karowe assets as “remarkable deposit” following its first exceptional diamond tender this week that saw 15 stones from the mine netting nearly US $ 25 million ( P210 million).
“We are ecstatic with the results of this special tender and it confirms the quality of the diamonds currently being produced from Karowe,” said, William Lamb, President and Chief Executive Officer. “The recovery of large and exceptional diamonds cannot accurately be predicted but the recovery of blue diamonds and now a population of large diamonds are making Karowe a remarkable deposit.”
Fifteen stones from the mine sold for US $24.85 million with one of them, a 239 carat diamond, going for US $ 5.75 million.
Lucara Diamond, which listed on Botswana Stock Exchange, Toronto and NASDAQ exchanges, is currently focused on Botswana and Lesotho operations and is building up to support the Botswana government’s initiative of promoting a parallel diamond marketing plan from De Beers’ controlled Diamond Trading Centre (DTC).
The mine is 15 kilometres south-west of the Letlhakane village and brings the total number of operating mines in that area to five. Debswana owns three while Firestone owns BK 11b.
The mine will employ about 400 people and over its 12 year life-span will yield about 6.1 million carats ÔÇô of type II quality which is similar to that of Letlhakane mine.
Lucara Diamond bought the AK 6 projectÔÇönow Karowe mine — from the former African Diamonds Plc which has been baptised and re-named Botswana Diamonds Plc. It was sold to Lucara Diamonds in 2010 by African Diamonds.
The exploration exercise at AK 6 was carried out by De Beers following the joint venture through the use of its new technology found out that the kimberliteÔÇöthe volcanic rock deposit containing diamonds ÔÇô was much larger than originally thought.
It also contained the rare nitrogen free gemstone deposits found in 45- carat Hope diamond in the Smithsonian in New York and Cullinan diamonds which are part of the Crown Jewels.
The rare nitrogen free gemstone deposits is concentrated at the southern loop of the earmarked mine and according to geologists is expected to yield some larger stone which are presently in short supply due to the aging mines.
Lamb said in a statement that over the past few weeks additional large diamonds have been recovered and management is currently considering an additional large stone tender later in the year.
“Modifications to the top size of material that the process plant treats have already been increased ensuring continued recovery of larger than expected diamonds,” Lamb added.