“A magnificent unbroken Type 11a 378-carat gem quality top white diamond was recently recovered from milling of ore from the M/PK(S) unit of the South Lobe,” the company said in a press release.
“This superb 378-carat diamond is our second +300 carat recovery so far this year, marking a strong early start to 2021,” said Lucara CEO Eira Thomas. Published reports suggest the diamond could fetch over $15 million.
The 378-carat diamond was recovered from direct milling of the M/PK(S) unit, a further testament to the strong resource and process circuity performance at Karowe, the company said. “It joins a rare and special lineage of exceptional, high value diamonds recovered at Karowe and continues to highlight the wonderful diamond potential of Botswana,” Thomas added.
Lucara shares advanced on the news, rising 3.9% or $0.03 to 80 cents. The stock is trading in a 52-week range of 90 cents and 40 cents.
The announcement comes just two weeks after Lucara announced the recovery of a 341-carat top white gem quality diamond from the south western quadrant of the South Lobe M/PK(S) unit. The company said it builds on previous historic recoveries, including the 549-carat Sethunya, 998-carat, 1,758-carat Sewelo, the 1,109-carat Lesidi La Rona and 342-carat Queen of Kalahari.
The Lesidi La Rona was described at the time as being is only slightly smaller than a tennis ball and the largest ever to be recovered from Botswana. It ranked as the second largest gem quality stone to be recovered in the past 100 years.
On Wednesday, the company said continued and consistent recovery of large diamonds, such as the 378-carat and 341-carat stones, comes at a critical time and provides continued strength and additional foundation to the underground expansion at Karowe that will see mining continue for at least another 13 years after the open pit ceases operations in 2026, the company said.
The current mine plan is based on probable reserves form surface to a depth of 324 metres below surface of 19.84 million tonnes containing 2.6 million carats. Total mineral reserves (including stockpiles) stand at 25.40 million tonnes containing 2.96 million carats.