Perth, Western Australia, February 27, 2019 - Lucapa Diamond Company Limited (ASX: LOM, FSE: NHY, ISIN AU000000LOM6) („Lucapa“ or „the Company“) and the Government of the Kingdom of Lesotho (“GoL”) are pleased to report the results from the first sale of diamonds from the new 1.1Mtpa Mothae kimberlite plant in Lesotho.
The parcel of 5,411 carats of rough diamonds sold at tender in Antwerp for a total of US$3.8 million (A$5.3 million). The diamonds were recovered during the plant ramp-up phase in Q4 2018 and in the first month of commercial mining operations at Mothae in January 2019.
The sale represented an overall average price per carat of US$707 (A$987) for the total run of mine parcel. The highest price achieved for an individual Mothae diamond was US$36,664 per carat.
As previously noted, the efficiency of the new Mothae plant in treating the near surface weathered material has resulted in the liberation of additional diamonds, primarily small stones below the plant’s 3mm bottom cut-off screen size (“BCOS”).
Most of these additional small diamonds are in the -11 and below sieve size fractions. While these small diamonds generate additional revenue, they also reduce the overall average price per carat.
The ~4,100 carats of Mothae diamonds included in the sale parcel in the +11 sieve size fraction and above sold for ~US$3.78 million, representing an average price per carat of ~US$900 (~A$1,260).
In contrast, the ~1,300 carats of small Mothae diamonds in the -11 sieve size fraction and below sold for ~ US$46,000, representing an average price per carat of just US$36.
Selection of Mothae diamonds sold in the Antwerp tender.
The recovery of small diamonds below the 3mm BCOS through the Mothae plant will normalise or diminish as mining progresses into the more competent kimberlite material with depth.
Lucapa Managing Director Stephen Wetherall said Lucapa and the GoL were extremely pleased with the results of the first sale of Mothae diamonds produced from the new 1.1Mtpa diamond plant.
“The solid bidding we witnessed in Antwerp for this first commercial parcel has certainly marked Mothae’s arrival on the international scene as a producer of top-quality goods, complementing those from our Lulo mine,” said Mr Wetherall. “The strong sales prices achieved for our quality run of mine production, in the absence of a single stand-out stone, represent a great start for Mothae which augurs well for its future as a producer of exceptional diamonds and its contribution to the Basotho nation.”
Members of the Government of Lesotho, including the Honourable Minister of
Mining, Keketso Sello, Lucapa CEO and management and Mothae Board members
visiting the Antwerp World Diamond Centre during the Mothae tender.
As previously advised, Lucapa plans to update guidance for the Mothae mine in respect of volume, grade and price in Q2 2019 after the first quarter of commercial mining operations.
Lucapa is a growing diamond company with high-quality mines in Angola and Lesotho, along with exploration projects in Angola, Australia and Botswana. The Company’s focus on high-value diamond production is designed to protect cash flows in a sector of the diamond market where demand remains robust.
Lucapa’s flagship asset is the Lulo Diamond Project in Angola, which is a prolific producer of large and premium-value alluvial diamonds. Lulo has produced 12 +100ct diamonds to date and is the highest US$ per carat alluvial diamond production in the world. Lucapa and its Lulo partners continue to advance their search for the primary kimberlite sources of these exceptional alluvial gems through a systematic drilling and exploration program.
Lucapa commenced commercial diamond recoveries in January 2019 at the Company’s second highvalue mine, the 1.1Mtpa Mothae kimberlite project in diamond-rich Lesotho.
Lucapa also has early stage exploration projects at Brooking in Western Australia and Orapa Area F in Botswana.
Lucapa’s Board and management team have extensive diamond industry experience across the globe with companies including De Beers and Gem Diamonds.
No New Information
To the extent that this announcement contains references to prior exploration results and Mineral Resource estimates, which have been cross referenced to previous market announcements made by the Company, unless explicitly stated, no new information is contained. The Company confirms that it is not aware of any new information or data that materially affects the information included in the relevant market announcements and, in the case of estimates of Mineral Resources that all material assumptions and technical parameters underpinning the estimates in the relevant market announcement continue to apply and have not materially changed.
This announcement has been prepared by the Company. This document contains background information about the Company and its related entities current at the date of this announcement. This is in summary form and does not purport to be all inclusive or complete. Recipients should conduct their own investigations and perform their own analysis in order to satisfy themselves as to the accuracy and completeness of the information, statements and opinions contained in this announcement. This announcement is for information purposes only. Neither this document nor the information contained in it constitutes an offer, invitation, solicitation or recommendation in relation to the purchase or sale of shares in any jurisdiction.
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This document does not constitute investment advice and has been prepared without taking into account the recipient’s investment objectives, financial circumstances or particular needs and the opinions and recommendations in this representation are not intended to represent recommendations of particular investments to particular investments to particular persons.
Recipients should seek professional advice when deciding if an investment is appropriate. All securities transactions involve risks, which include (among others) the risk of adverse or unanticipated market, financial or political developments.
No responsibility for any errors or omissions from this document arising out of negligence or otherwise is accepted. This document does include forward-looking statements. Forward-looking statements are only predictions and are subject to risks, uncertainties and assumptions which are outside the control of the Company. Actual values, results, outcomes or events may be materially different to those expressed or implied in this announcement. Given these uncertainties, recipients are cautioned not to place reliance on forward-looking statements.
Any forward-looking statements in this announcement speak only at the date of issue of this announcement. Subject to any continuing obligations under applicable law and ASX Listing Rules, the Company does not undertake any obligation to update or revise any information.
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