Africa-focused diamond miner Lucapa has updated the diamond resource carats for its Lulo mine by 90 percent to 80,400 carats.
Africa-focused diamond miner Lucapa (ASX:LOM) has almost doubled the diamond resource carats at its Lulo mine in Angola.
The Australia-listed company had the mine independently assessed by Zstar Resource Consultants, a South African consultancy firm.
Zstar has pegged the alluvial diamond resource of Lulo at 80,400 carats in situ, a 90-percent increase from the previous total.
According to Lucapa, the revised resource total does not take into account the 30,000 carats the company has unearthed in the 19 months preceding December 2018. The 30,000 carats of gems were later sold at auction for US$62 million.
To date, diamonds from Lulo have fetched US$141 million, with an average price per carat of US$2,100.
“Together with the significant positive diamond marketing reforms introduced in Angola enabling producers like Lulo to achieve international market prices for their diamonds, the near doubling of in-situ resource carats in the upgraded Lulo diamond resource supports the Lulo partners’ plans to increase alluvial production in 2019,” company CEO Stephen Wetherall said in the announcement.
In 2018, the Angolan mine’s fourth year of production, 19,196 carats of diamonds were recovered.
The consultancy company also upped the Lulo alluvial per-carat value by 17 percent to US$1,425.
Zstar’s increased resource value is the result of an auger-drilling program in the floodplains along the Cacuilo river valley within the Lulo concession.
Auger drilling in the floodplain has continued throughout Q1 2019 and will be ongoing for the rest of the year — 250,000 to 300,000 bank cubic meters of alluvial gravels have already been identified for exploration.
Aside from Lulo, its flagship project, Lucapa also has a diamond-producing mine in Lesotho, as well as early stage exploration projects in Western Australia and Botswana.
Shares of Lucapa sat flat on Thursday (March 21), trading at AU$0.18.
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Securities Disclosure: I, Georgia Williams, hold no direct investment interest in any company mentioned in this article.