Lucapa Diamond Co. sells Mothae to local contractor

Mothae mine, Lesotho

LUCAPA Diamond Company is to sell its 70% stake in Mothae mine to Lephema Executive Transport, a local company that supplies services to the Lesotho operation.

“Executive has a successful history with the Mothae Diamond Mine, having provided long-term contract mining services,” said Nick Selby, MD and CEO of Lucara.

Lephema Executive Transport will pay Lucara A$10,000 for the stake. A further A$1m is payable to Lucapa from the mine in terms of outstanding technical services payments.

“The signing of this agreement is a key step towards Lucapa streamlining its portfolio and executing the new strategy which will focus on assets in Australia and Angola,” said Selby.

In July, Stephen Wetherall announced his resignation as CEO, a post he held since 2014. He was replaced by Selby, the company’s former COO who has since embarked on a shake up of the firm’s assets. In November, the company shelved a feasibility study of its Merlin prospect in Australia owing to a decline in diamond prices.

Earlier this week Lucapa announced that it was in discussions with Angolan authorities to increase its stake in the Lulo Kimberlite Exploration Joint Venture to a 51% majority share from its current 39% holding.

In terms of their discussions, the parties must conclude discussions within 90 days from meeting and submit a final report to the Angolan mines minister.

Selby has also set about refreshing Lucapa’s board. In April, the company announced it had appointed ex-De Beers head Stuart Brown as its non-executive chairman, replacing Miles Kennedy in the role.

Lucapa also said it had appointed Ronnie Beevor to the board as a non-executive director. Beevor was previously head of investment banking of Rothschild Australia and has served on the boards of mining companies in Australia and internationally.