ASX-listed diamond miner Lucapa has commenced commercial diamond recovery at the Mothae kimberlite mine in Lesotho.
ASX-listed diamond company Lucapa (ASX:LOM) has announced the start of commercial diamond recovery at the Mothae kimberlite mine in Lesotho.
Lucapa controls a 70-percent stake in the high-quality mine, while the Government of the Kingdom of Lesotho controls the remaining 30 percent.
The diamond recoveries at the site are a result of the opening of the new commercial treatment plant, which will allow the company to incrementally ramp-up production to 1.1 million tonnes per annum.
The production achievement is part of Lucapa’s strategic development plan.
“Lucapa is on track to become one of a few listed diamond companies globally with production from more than one operating mine,” managing director Stephen Wetherall said in the announcement.
“The high-quality nature of this production from Lulo and Mothae will also enable the group to further its value-enhancing downstream strategy through partnerships with global diamantaires, where discussions are well advanced.”
The newly commissioned commercial treatment plant incorporates advanced diamond recovery technology, including two XRT diamond recovery modules designed to recover large and rare Type IIa diamonds.
Being able to separate the large and rare stones before they pass through the secondary crushing circuit will reduce the potential for diamond breakage, allowing for the improvement in recovery of whole, intact large stones.
Following the creation of a second operating shift, the plant will be steadily ramped up to its peak production capacity of 1.1 million tonnes per annum.
In addition to operating Lesotho’s Mothae mine, Lucapa also oversees production at its Lulo mine in Angola.
To date, Lulo has produced 11 100+ carat diamonds and is considered to have the highest US dollar per carat alluvial diamond production in the world.
In early November, Lucapa announced it had discovered a new diamond resource in the untested floodplain of its Lulo project.
Despite only exploring one area of the floodplain, Lucapa has already unearthed 17 special diamonds — gems 10.8 carats or larger — including one 55 carat type IIa d-color white diamond, which the company describes as ‘exceptional.’
Lucapa shares were up 2.44 percent on Wednesday (December 5), trading at AU$.0205.
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Securities Disclosure: I, Georgia Williams, hold no direct investment interest in any company mentioned in this article.