Lucapa Diamond has discovered pink diamonds after mining trials in a new section of its Lulo alluvial diamond mine in Angola.
The area, known as E46, found several diamonds, including a 0.2 carat intense fancy pink diamond, a 59 carat Type I diamond and a 33 carat Type IIa D colour diamond. The company stated that E46 would also have “fancy-coloured diamonds as well as large, high-quality gems”.
E46 is approximately 10km upstream of mining blocks 6 and 8, where several special diamonds have been discovered, such as the 404 carat diamond earlier this year.
In March, the company located eight special diamonds in E46 including a 68 carat Type IIa D-colour gem.
A Lucapa spokesperson said, “[The] significant quality, size and value of the diamonds being recovered…makes this [Lulo] one of the most unique diamond resources in the world.”
“Yellow and fancy yellow diamonds have also been recovered from sampling and production but they are not as rare as pink diamond production. The recovery of pink diamonds is very special as they are about 50 times more rare than whites in terms of global recovery.”
They also suggested the possibility of a large pink diamond being discovered in the region.
The fancy pink diamond will be sold in Angola, with a date yet to be confirmed.
Lulo’s prominence as a major large diamond producer has been enhanced as E46 is the fourth area along a 20km region of the Caculio River terraces to have these special diamonds.
The area is also next to the L46 and L19 kimberlites which are well known for having diamonds. Two Type I kimberlite diamonds at 1.24 carats were found in L46 in 2015.
Over 90 per cent of pink diamonds are said to be produced by WA’s Argyle diamond mine. In 2013, Rio Tinto extended the mine’s life by transforming from an open cut mine into an underground mine, however its resources will soon end.
This has created an increase in demand for pink diamonds and an increase in their price.
Sotheby’s is set to receive between $36.5 and $49.6 million for a 15.38 unique pink diamond when it goes for auction in Geneva in May 17.
The diamond is thought to be the largest pear shaped, fancy vivid pink diamond to ever be put up for auction.