Lucara Diamonds, the Toronto Stock Exchange (TSX) and Botswana Stock Exchange (BSE) listed mining outfit, announced the recovery of 239.2 carats diamond┬áfrom its Karowe mine, which is the biggest find┬áin the last 40 years.
It further┬áannounced the discovery of two other stones: the 124 carats and the 71.1 carat┬áon the southern lope┬á–which it has started treating.
“The diamonds┬áwere recovered from the central kimberlite domain, which has only recently become a feed to the plant as the pit expands to the south,” the company said in statement posted on its website on Monday.
The diamonds will be sent to Antwerp, Belgium, where they will be studied before being auctioned later in the year.
“The discovery of these stones is hugely significant┬áto both Lucara and Botswana. To the best of my knowledge, the 239 carat stone is one of the largest diamonds ever to have been recovered from the highly prolific Orapa kimberlite in over┬á 40 years,”┬á Lucara’s┬á President and Chief Executive Officer, William Lamb, said.
He added: “The discovery of diamonds of this size, the confirmed population of blue diamonds, and the strong operational performance in our first few quarters of our operation demonstrate the quality of the assets as well as the competence of the operations team.”
Botswana has been dubbed “the best diamond address in the world with the street name being Orapa”┬áby former chairman of┬áAfrican Diamonds, John Teeling, a company that used to own┬áKarowe asset.
The asset is 15 kilometres from LetlhakaneÔÇöa village┬ásurrounded by five diamond minesÔÇöowned by Debswana Mining Company,┬áFirestone Diamonds and Lucara Diamonds.
The Karowe find┬áfollows an announcement by De Beers last week that┬áits┬áA 101.73 carats D Flawless diamond recovered in Botswana┬áwill be auctioned by┬áChristie’s Geneva office┬áin May. The stone┬áwas polished from┬á236 carats rough diamond that was mined at Jwaneng Mine.
The De Beers’ find is an┬áexceptionally rare pear-shaped diamond and is a Type IIa, making it even rarer, according to┬á Idexonline.
Auction house Christie’s Geneva, which will offer the diamond on May 15 at the Magnificent Jewels auction, did not provide a price estimate for the diamond. Last November, the Archduke Joseph Diamond, a cushion-shaped D/IF diamond weighing 76.02 carats sold for $280,000 per carat.
Continued demand for exceptional diamonds ÔÇô large D/IF and coloured diamonds ÔÇô is driving up their prices at auction houses around the world. Many of the buyers are investors that intend to see prices continue and appreciate in the years ahead.
The high demand is leading to new price records and this 101.73-carats diamond may set another.
This is the first time the diamond is on the block after it took 21 months to plan and polish it.
Lucara Diamonds closed the day on Monday at 520 thebe on the BSE.