2019 was challenging for the diamond market, but in 2020 Lucapa has already made a large find and posted record annual production numbers.
The new year is off to a good start for diamond miner Lucapa Diamond (ASX:LOM) after it unearthed its first major find of 2020.
The Australia-listed company discovered a 117 carat gem-quality diamond from the Lulo mine in Angola, a project that has produced 14 stones over 100 carats in recent years.
Lulo’s Mining Block 19, where the latest large gem was found, is flanked by Mining Blocks 6 and 8, which have jointly produced 12 stones weighing 100 carats or more.
In 2016, the area yielded Angola’s largest diamond to date, the 404 carat 4th February Stone, which subsequently sold for US$16 million.
Commenting on the company’s latest discovery, Managing Director Stephen Wetherall announced, “The recovery of this gem-quality 117 carat diamond represents a positive start for Lulo in 2020 as we continue rolling out our plans to increase production and revenues this year.”
The Angola mine isn’t the only project Lucapa operates in Africa. In the Kingdom of Lesotho, the Mothae mine has also proven rewarding for the gem miner.
In mid-November, two carat diamonds of over 100 carats each were recovered during the treatment of tailings at the site. Weighing in at 220 carats and 127 carats, the gems showcase the promise the project may possess.
“While the two diamonds are not of high-quality, they continue to underline the large-stone nature of the Mothae deposit,” reads part of a press release from after their discovery.
Mothae began production in January 2019 and it produced its first stone of over 100 carats in May. A few weeks later, a 126 carat gem-quality diamond was located, referred to as its best discovery to date.
According to Thursday’s (January 9) announcement, the most recent recovery at Mothae includes a 60 carat-gem quality stone.
Although 2019 was challenging for the diamond market, which combated decreasing demand and headwinds from the trade tensions between China and the US, Lucapa posted record production numbers for the year.
The two projects produced 49,120 carats for the calendar year and had combined sales of US$55 million.
Shares of Lucapa remained flat on Thursday, trading for AU$0.13.
Don’t forget to follow us @INN_Australia for real-time updates!
Securities Disclosure: I, Georgia Williams, hold no direct investment interest in any company mentioned in this article.