Australia’s Lucapa Diamond has secured a 70 per cent interest in Mothae Diamonds, which holds significant diamond resources in Lesotho, Southern Africa.
The Government of Lesotho signed the $9 million deal with Lucapa following an international tender process.
Mothae Diamonds holds the advanced Mothae Kimberlite project in north east Lesotho which has an indicated and inferred resource of one million carats.
The project is in close proximity to three diamond mines, and 5km away from Letseng, the world’s highest dollar per carat kimberlite diamond mine. It also has existing infrastructure, including a camp and processing plant.
Trial mining has identified that Mothae has large Type IIa diamonds, including individual stones up to 254 carats, as well as gem quality diamonds that have sold for up to US$41,500 a carat.
The project will fit with Lucapa’s existing African assets, including the Lulo diamond project in Angola.
Lucapa managing director Stephen Wetherall said, “This acquisition is keeping with Lucapa’s stated strategy of continued growth as a diamond producer and explorer.”
“Mothae complements the producing high-value Lulo diamond mine and our highly prospective exploration assets in the advanced Lulo kimberlite project and the earlier stage Brooking and Orapa Area F projects.”
Lulo has produced several significant gems including the company’s largest pink diamond – at 38.6 carats, and its massive 404 carat diamond discovery last year – the largest single stone found by an Australian company.
The new acquisition is expected to support the growing demand for diamonds.
“The market pricing and demand levels for such high-value stones remains robust, thus protecting the ability of large stone producing kimberlite projects, like Mothae, to sustain strong operating cash flows,” Wetherall said.
Wetherall added that Lucapa’s success in developing the Lulo mine – which delivered the highest price per carat run of mine diamond production last year – were key factors in the company’s successful bid.