Lucapa has recovered an 11.88-carat diamond from ongoing bulk sampling at the North zone of its Mothae diamond mine.
Lucapa Diamond Company (ASX:LOM) has recovered an 11.88-carat diamond from the North zone of its Mothae diamond mine in Lesotho.
Unearthed as part of an ongoing bulk sampling program taking place at the mine, the sizable find is considered another “special” diamond, a term the company uses for recovered gems over 10.8 carats.
The stone is the first special found from the section of the Mothae kimberlite pipe that is involved in the current ongoing bulk sampling program.
The company has also found specials weighing in at 89 carats and 25 carats from the South-East and Neck zones, respectively. The collective discoveries mean all three zones where bulk sampling has taken place have the ability to produce specials.
Lucapa’s managing director, Stephen Wetherall, discussed the current bulk sampling program in a statement, explaining that some of the zones involved were previously underexplored.
“The concurrent Mothae bulk sampling program was planned to provide additional data over and above the information used to compile the original JORC resource,” Wetherall said.
“Certain areas of the kimberlite pipe which hadn’t historically been sampled (Neck zone), or where there had been very limited historical testing (South-East and North zones), were thought to be underestimated as a result. At the time of acquisition, we believed there was much upside here and this program is designed to deliver that upside,” he continued.
He elaborated by highlighting the recent diamond discoveries, which have lent the company encouragement as Mothae’s 150-tonne-per-hour (tph), 90,000-tonne-per-month diamond treatment plant continues to be built.
“To have already recovered special sized diamonds from early sampling tonnages in all three of these areas gives us great confidence we can achieve this goal,” Wetherall said.
“It also adds to our excitement as we advance construction of our new 150 tph plant, which remains on track for commercial diamond production later this year to complement the high-value production from our Lulo mine in Angola,” he added.
Lucapa expects the diamond treatment plant to be completed and production to begin by H2 2018.
Image courtesy of Lucapa Diamond.
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Securities Disclosure: I, Olivia Da Silva, hold no direct investment interest in any company mentioned in this article.