Lucapa has increased mining volumes at its Lulo diamond project by 35 per cent to achieve a quarterly record of 81,117 bulk cubic metres (BCM).
The Western Australian company has been exploring new areas at the Angolan site, the world’s highest cost per carat (in US dollars) alluvial diamond mine, for the prospect of an expansion.
In July, the company recovered its 11th diamond in excess of 100 carats (ct) from the project, the third such diamond recovered from the site in 2018.
While Lulo is Lucapa’s primary interest (a 40 per cent investment), the company is also focused on two emerging projects, Mothae in Lesotho and the Brooking discovery in Western Australia.
Last week, Lucapa commissioned its 1.1Mt/y diamond plant at Mothae, which is scheduled for first recovery in early November. Bulk sampling from the project has returned 4100ct of diamonds, including 25ct and 89ct yellows and whites between 25–28ct.
In Australia, the Brooking discovery has reported strong results over the last year. In August, Lucapa and minority partner Leopold Diamond Company returned 1100 diamonds from a 178kg lamproite drill core.
This included 18 macro diamonds with dimensions greater than 0.5mm on at least one side.
According to Lucapa’s quarterly report, the company achieved $US4.5 million in quarterly sales at a $US893/ct average for a year-to-date total of $US20.3 million at a $US1384/ct average.