Lucara Diamond Corporation has this past week recovered a number of exceptional diamonds at its Karowe Mine in Botswana.
The company said the resource is continuing to deliver according to expectations with the recovery of a spectacular Type IIa, 336 carat diamond. In addition to this recovery, a further three exceptional diamonds were recovered over this past weekend, a 184 carat stone, a 94 carat and a 86 carat stone.
Furthermore, the company stated that a 12 carat pale pink diamond was also recovered, the colour of which will be confirmed post cleaning. Over the past three years, since the recovery of the first large diamond from the Karowe Diamond Mine in 2013, Lucara has recovered 216 diamonds that have sold for more than $250,000 each. Twelve of these diamonds sold for more than $5.0 million each.
Lucara President and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) William Lamb said the ongoing recovery of large exceptional diamonds from the Karowe Mine continues to support the resource estimates.
“This resource has consistently produced significant value for the Company and its shareholders and the ongoing recovery of high value stones sets Lucara apart from most other diamond producers,” he said.
Meanwhile, Lucara has also reported strong performance, with revenues of $38.1 million for the quarter and $67.8 million of the first six months of 2015. Revenues totalled $138.1 million for the year to date following the exceptional stone tender in July.
Cash flows and diamond revenues
The company achieved revenues of $38.1 million or $412 per carat in the second quarter of 2015, excluding $1.6 million of proceeds received after the quarter end. Revenues for the first six months totalled $67.8 million or $340 per carat which were 6.9 percent higher than the full year dollar per carat achieved in 2014 mainly due to the increase in the number of higher value single stones sold at the regular tender.
“The Company’s first exceptional stone tender of 2015, which was held after the end of the second quarter achieved revenues of $68.7 million from the sale of 1,674 carats,” reads the statement.
The two largest diamonds, totalling 610 carats, sold for a total of $37.1 million or $60,639 per carat. Including the exceptional stone tender revenues, year to date diamond sales have achieved an average price of $662 per carat which is 2.8 percent higher than the full year 2014.
Lucara’s second quarter end cash balance was $74.0 million compared to $82.1 million in the previous year and $100.8 million at the end of 2014. The June cash balance excludes $1.6 million of cash received after the quarter end for its June tender and revenue from the company’s exceptional stone tender held in July. The company currently has a cash and receivable position of $130.2 million following its July exceptional stone tender.
The company further announced that Karowe as well as the plant optimisation project mining has performed well with ore mined in line with forecast and waste mining ahead of schedule. Furthermore the plant optimisation circuits have now been commissioned and fully integrated into the process facility.
“We are currently working on optimisation of the dense medium separation circuit to maximise the recovery efficiency on the smaller, lower value diamonds processed through the plant,” reads the statement.