In-situ alluvial resource carats increase to ~136,000 at a modelled average diamond value of US$1,440/ carat
Lucapa Diamond Company Limited (ASX: LOM) (“Lucapa” or “the Company”) and its partners in Sociedade Mineira Do Lulo (“SML”), Empresa Nacional de Diamantes E.P. (“Endiama”) and Rosas & Petalas, are pleased to provide an updated JORC Classified Inferred Alluvial Diamond Resource (“Lulo Diamond Resource”) for the Lulo diamond mine in Angola.
The updated Lulo Diamond Resource was independently estimated and reconciled on a depletion and addition basis to 31 December 2020 by external consultants, Z Star Mineral Resource Consultants (Pty) Ltd (“Z Star”) of Cape Town, South Africa (Table 1).
The updated Lulo Diamond Resource was estimated after taking into account:
- Mining depletion to 31 December 2020 by SML, during which time ~23,600 carats of diamonds were recovered from ~271,700 bulk cubic metres of gravel;
- The delineation of new or additional resources and improved knowledge of existing resource areas through an extensive ~4,800 hole auger drilling and 770 hole pitting program; and
- Sales of diamonds produced during 2020.
Even after accounting for mining depletion of ~23,600 carats during 2020 and a reduction in grade to 6.86 carats per 100 cubic metres (cphm3) primarily as a result of adjusting the mining dilution factor, the in-situ resource carats increased by 35% to 135,900 carats in the updated Lulo Diamond Resource.
As a result of delineating additional resources, the total diluted volume of gravel available for mining in the updated Lulo Diamond Resource increased to 2.0Mm3. This equates to a minimum of five years throughput at current rates.
The Covid-19 pandemic’s effect on achieved diamond prices during 2020 resulted in the modelled value reducing to US$1,440/ carat. To date, 112,000 carats of diamonds have been recovered and sold at Lulo for a total US$200 million at an average price of US$1,790/ carat. Further, as has been previously reported, diamond demand and prices have since recovered and are back to pre-pandemic levels.
Lucapa Managing Director Stephen Wetherall commented “The increases in the Lulo Diamond Resource over the last few years is a direct result of disciplined investment in the alluvial exploration and delineation programs by SML. The 35% increase in carats to ~136,000 carats is a new record for carats in the Lulo Diamond Resource notwithstanding six years of mining depletion. This year’s update too highlights the valuable contribution of the newly delineated leziria areas which have provided a stream of top-quality recoveries.”
Authorised by the Lucapa Board.
Lucapa is a niche diamond producer with high-value mines in Angola (Lulo) and Lesotho (Mothae).
The Lulo alluvial mine and Mothae kimberlite mine both produce large and high-value diamonds, with >75% of revenues generated from the recovery of +4.8 carat stones.
Lulo has produced 19 +100 carat diamonds to date, including a 404 carat D-colour Type IIa stone, and is one of the highest average US$ per carat alluvial diamond producers in the world. Lucapa and its Project Lulo JV partners have also received highly encouraging results from their search to discover the primary hard-rock source of the high-value Lulo alluvial diamonds.
The 1.1Mtpa Mothae kimberlite mine in diamond-rich Lesotho commenced commercial mining and processing operations in January 2019. It produced >30,000 carats in its first year of production and 5 +100 carat diamonds to date, including a 215 carat D-colour Type IIa stone. Lucapa has recently commissioned a ~45% expansion in the processing capacity of the Mothae kimberlite mine from 1.1Mtpa to 1.6Mtpa which is scheduled for completion in Q1 2021.
Lucapa’s Board, management team and new strategic investors have decades of diamond industry experience across the globe and right through the diamond pipeline, particularly in extracting value from large and high-quality diamonds.
Competent Person’s Statement
Information included in this report on the Lulo Diamond Resource is based on, and fairly represents, information and supporting documentation prepared, compiled and supervised by Richard Price MAuslMM, who is a Member of the Australasian lnstitute of Mining and Metallurgy. Mr. Price is an employee of Lucapa Diamond Company Limited. Mr. Price has sufficient experience which is relevant to the style of mineralisation and type of deposit under consideration and to the activity which he is undertaking to qualify as a Competent Person as defined in the 2012 Edition of the Joint Ore Reserves Committee (JORC) Code. Mr. Price consents to the inclusion in the announcement of the matters based on this information in the form and context in which it appears.
Information included in this report that relates to the stone frequency, grade and size frequency valuation and validation in the Lulo Diamond Resource estimate is based on, and fairly represents, information and supporting documentation prepared and compiled by Sean Duggan (Pri.Sci.Nat 400035/01) and David Bush (Pri.Sci.Nat 400071/00).
Through its evolution, EmergingGrowth.com found a niche in identifying companies that can be overlooked by the markets. We look for strong management, innovation, strategy, execution, and the overall potential for long- term growth. Aside from being a trusted resource for the Emerging Growth info-seekers, we are well known for discovering undervalued companies and bringing them to the attention of the investment community. Through our parent Company, we also have the ability to facilitate road shows to present your products and services to the most influential investment banks in the space.