Lucapa Diamond Company has confirmed a 25 per cent increase in the mine’s reserve to 100,700 carats.
The independent estimate, completed by an external consultant considers the delineation of new or additional resources and improved knowledge of existing resource areas.
In addition, the estimate also puts the average dollar per carat value for Lulo diamonds modelled at $US1,620 ($2,631), representing a 14 per cent increase on the previous modelled estimate of $US1,420 per carat.
The kimberlite exploration program is aimed to discover the primary hard-rock sources of the alluvial diamonds being mined along the Cacuilo Rover valley.
Lucapa managing director Stephen Wetherall said the latest update represents the highest number of carats ever in a Lulo Diamond Resource.
“Together with the positive diamond marketing reforms introduced in Angola in 2019, the latest increase in both in-situ resource carats and average modelled price supports the investment made by the Lulo partners to expand diamond production and cash generation from 2020,” he said.
“We are confident we can continue to build on the alluvial resource given the vast areas along the Cacuilo River valley which remain unexplored, coupled with the fact we are now delineating alluvial diamond zones in both the terraces and the flood plain (leziria) areas,” he added.
Lucapa and its partners are seeing promising results from the Lulo diamond project, with the company recovering 45 diamonds of up to 3.75 carats from stream bulk sampling earlier in February.
Of the diamonds discovered during recent exploration, seven were classified as top D-colour gems on the Yenhuda colorimeter.
This zone has previously produced multiple high-value diamonds, including 88, 68, 60, 59, 35, 33, 32, 31 and 30 carat diamonds and fancy pink and yellow diamonds from Mining Block 46.
Lucapa operates the Lulo concession in partnership with Empresa Nacional de Diamantes E.P. (Endiama), Angola’s national diamond company, and Rosas & Petalas.