The gem-quality 126 carat diamond is the largest high-quality gem ever recovered from the Mothae kimberlite site.
Australia-listed diamond explorer Lucapa Diamond (ASX:LOM) has unearthed the first diamond over 100 carats from its Mothae mine in Lesotho.
The gem-quality 126 carat diamond is the largest high-quality gem ever recovered from the site.
The project, which came into commercial production in January, is Lucapa’s second major operation on the continent. The company’s Lulo mine in Angola has produced more than a dozen record-setting diamonds; most recently, a 130 carat stone was found there.
While the latest stone is the largest gem-quality stone discovered by Lucapa at the site, it is the sixth gem recovered weighing more than 50 carats since pre-production bulk sampling began in 2018.
The Mothae project is a joint venture between Lucapa, which holds 70 percent, and the government of the Kingdom of Lesotho, which possesses the remaining 30 percent.
“Lesotho is very proud of its international reputation as a producer of large and high-quality diamonds and this latest recovery from our newest mine, Mothae, continues to demonstrate our nation’s great potential,” said Sello.
Not far from the Mothae mine is the Letseng asset, considered the world’s highest kimberlite diamond mine in terms of US dollars per carat. It is owned by Gem Diamonds (LSE:GEMD,OTC Pink:GMDMF) and has produced pink and blue diamonds in the past.
Since commencing commercial production in early 2019, Mothae has produced 138 diamonds weighing 4.8 carats or more, including 42 specials and rare Type IIa and IIb diamonds.
“We are delighted to have recovered our first +100 carat stone so early in our commercial mining campaign at Mothae, along with other rare Type IIa and fancy colored gems, and look forward to unlocking the true value of this mine over the next decade and beyond,” said Managing Director Stephen Wetherall in a company announcement.
Shares of Lucapa sat flat on Monday (May 27), trading at AU$0.14.
Image courtesy of Lucapa Diamond.
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Securities Disclosure: I, Georgia Williams, hold no direct investment interest in any company mentioned in this article.