Lucapa Diamond Company has capped off 2019 with a record annual diamond production of 49,120 carats, achieving combined sales of $US55 million ($79.2 million) for the year.
Lucapa stated that while 2019 was a challenging year for diamond producers, a strong holiday jewellery season in the United States contributed to a turnaround in mid-stream demand and prices.
The company’s Mothae kimberlite mine in Lesotho, southern Africa processed record tonnes of the precious jewel, producing 9837 carats in the last quarter of 2019.
This result puts Mothae at more than 30,000 carats in its first year of production, 45 per cent ahead of plan.
Lucapa’s Lulo alluvial mine in Angola, also in southern Africa, produced 4170 carats during the quarter, despite heavy rainfall and ceased operations caused by labour action.
In spite of the disruptions, Lulo still produced within 1 per cent of the previous year’s results with more than 19,000 carats.
The two African mines continued to underline their status as niche large stone producers, with 287 4.8-plus carat diamonds for a combined total of 1164 for the year. Five of these diamonds were 100-plus carat diamonds.
Lucapa’s diamond sale from Mothae and Lulo in December also fetched a combined total of $9.3 million.
Mothae’s gems went for an average price of $662 per carat while Lulo’s averaged at $1517 per carat.