Lucara recovers 1,758-carat diamond in Botswana

The 1,758-carat diamond recovered from Lucara Diamond’s Karowe diamond mine in Botswana. Source: Lucara Diamond Corp.

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The 1,758-carat diamond recovered from Lucara Diamond’s Karowe diamond mine in Botswana. Source: Lucara Diamond Corp.

Lucara Diamond Corp. [LUC-TSX; LUCRF-OTC] said Thursday April 25 that it has recovered 1,758-carat diamond from its 100%-owned Karowe diamond mine in Botswana

One of the largest diamonds in recorded history, the largest diamond recovered in Botswana, and the largest diamond to be mined at Karowe to date, the unbroken 1,758-carat stone was recovered through Lucara’s state-of-the-art XRT diamond recovery circuit, which was commissioned in April, 2015.

Weighing close to 352 grams and measuring 83 millimetres by 62 millimetres by 46 millimetres, the diamond has been characterized as near-gem of variable quality, including domains of high-quality white gem.

Further detailed analysis is continuing the company said.

Meanwhile, Lucara shares jumped 5.06% or $0.08 to $1.66 on volume of 403,306. The shares trade in a 52-week range of $1.38 and $2.39.

Since the XRT circuit was commissioned in 2015, a total of 12 diamonds in excess of 300 carats have been recovered at Karowe, including two greater than 1,000 carats, from a total production of approximately 1.4 million carats. Of the 12 over 300-carat diamonds recovered, 50% were categorized as gem quality with 11 sold to date, generating revenue in excess of US$158 million.

“Lucara’s technologically advanced XRT diamond recovery circuit has once again delivered historic results,” said Lucara CEO Eira Thomas. “Karowe has now produced two diamonds greater than 1,000 carats in just four years, affirming the coarse nature of the resource and the likelihood of recovering additional, large, high-quality diamonds in the future, particularly as we mine deeper in the ore body and gain access to geologically favourable EM/PK(S) unit, the source of our record breaking over 1,000-carat diamonds,” Thomas said.

Lucara is a member of the Lundin group of companies.

Shares of Lucara Diamond soared in November 2015, after the Vancouver-based company said it had recovered a 1,111-carat, gem quality stone, named the Lesedi La Rona or “Our Light.”

The stone 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.

Thomas said 2018 was a banner year, having recovered a record number of specials (diamonds over 10.8 carats in size) and, in 2019, mining will be largely focused on the high-value south lobe, including contributions from the newly refined EMPKS unit, which is now understood to be the source of both the historic Lesedi la Rona and the 813-carat Constellation, which sold for a record US$63.1 million.

The current mine plan is based on probable reserves from surface to a depth of 324 metres.

The Karowe diamond mine currently boasts open-pit reserves of 2.6 million carats extending out to 2026 and is in the process of completing a feasibility study that could expand mining underground to 2036 and beyond, Thomas said.

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