Lucapa in talks to buy control of Lulo kimberlite exploration joint venture from Endiama

LUCAPA Diamond Company said it was in advanced discussions with the Angolan government to lift its stake in their Lulo exploration joint venture to above 50% from the firm’s current 39% holding.

Discussions were with the Angola’s mineral resources and petroleum ministry and the national diamond company, Endiama, which owns a controlling 51% stake in the Lulo joint venture which holds a kimberlite exploration licence for the 3,000km² Lulo diamond concession in Angola.

In addition to the shares owned by Lucapa and Endiama, a local firm, Rosas & Petalas, owns a 10% share in the joint venture holding the mining licence area.

Lucapa said that a kimberlite exploration program at Lulo aimed to find the sources of the exceptional alluvial diamonds being mined by Lucapa and its partners at the Lulo mine, which have achieved average run of mine sale prices of more than $1,900 per carat.

In October, Lucapa reported record quarterly production for the three months to end-September with best ever numbers flowing from its Mothae mine in Lesotho.

Just over 7,000 carats were recovered at Mothae and a further 7,603 carats at the firm’s Lulo alluvial mine in Angola – its second best quarterly performance – taking the total for the quarter to 14,610 carats, the firm said.

“The results are in line with Lucapa’s strategy of expanding high-value diamond production to maximise revenue generation,” Lucapa said. Some 432 diamonds of 4.8 carats or larger were recovered, including 136 specials defined as 10.8 carat or larger diamonds.