Lucapa kicks off 2020 with promising 117 carat diamond recovery from Angola’s Lulo

A 117 carat diamond was recovered from the Lulo alluvial mine in Angola, said Lucapa Diamond Company, the Australian-listed firm that operates the mine in joint venture with the Angolan government.

“The recovery of this gem-quality 117 carat diamond represents a positive start for Lulo in 2020 as we continue rolling out our plans to increase production and revenues this year,” said Stephen Wetherall, MD of Lucapa Diamond.

The gem-quality 117 carat stone is the fourteenth 100 carat or larger diamond recovered to date from Lulo by Lucapa and its partners and the first for 2020.

The 117 carat diamond was among the ‘specials’ – described as diamonds with a weight of 10.8 carats or higher – recovered recently from Mining Block 19. Mining Block 19 is located between the prolific Mining Blocks 6 and 8, which have together produced 12 +100 carat diamonds, the company said.

In November, Lucapa Diamond said it was in advanced discussions with the Angolan government to lift its stake the 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 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.