Lucara adds to high value haul with a new recovery once part of 2,000+ carat diamond

Lucara's Sewelô 1,758 carat diamond Pic: Louis Vuitton

LUCARA Diamond Corporation added to its diamond haul over 1,000 carats with the recovery of a 1,174 carat stone – large enough to rival two previous world-renowned discoveries, including the 1,109 carat La Rona Lesedi.

Eira Thomas, CEO of Lucara Diamond, said that although the recently discovered 1,174 stone was complex there were significant domains of top colour white gem which was “very much in high demand in the market today”.

The diamond was recovered with a group of other significant stones of 471, 218, and 159 carats respectively. This suggested the diamonds once formed a stone of more than 2,000 carats, Lucara Diamond said.

The diamonds were discovered at Karowe, Lucara’s only asset which is located in Botswana. The company recently embarked on the underground extension of Karowe at an estimated capital cost of $514m.

In addition to the most recent stone and Lesedi La Rona, Karowe also yielded the 1,758 carat Sewelô stone. In the year to date, Karowe has produced 17 diamonds greater than 100 carats, including 5 diamonds greater than 300 carats, said Thomas.

Shares in Lucara improved slightly since Friday gaining two Canadian cents, but for the year to date, the share is some 48% higher – an improvement largely based on the vastly healthier world diamond market compared to last year.

De Beers announced today fifth cycle sales of $470m which compares to $385m in confirmed sales for the fourth cycle. The fifth cycle sales don’t bear comparison with the 2020 number of $56m which was recorded during the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Bruce Cleaver, CEO of De Beers Group, said the strong demand for diamonds in the fifth cycle was owing to an improvement in diamond jewellery purchases in the US and China whilst midstream capacity was returning in India.

An outbreak of a new variant of Covid-19 led to a humanitarian crisis in India earlier this year with hundreds of thousands of new fatalities of the disease reported which disrupted the country’s diamond cutting and polishing industry.

“Overall sentiment is increasingly optimistic as we move towards the second half of the year and, while risks as a result of the global pandemic persist, we have been encouraged by the condition of the market,” said Cleaver.

The fifth cycle sales are provisional as De Beers has, as per previous cycles, extended the period beyond the traditional one-week in order to accommodate the midstream tackling the restrictions of the Covid-19 pandemic.

De Beers conducts 10 cycles, previously referred to as sights, per year. The company is 85% owned by Anglo American.