Business

Lucapa rakes in US$5,5 million from Lesotho, Angola diamond sales

Herbert Moyo

LUCAPA Diamond Company Limited has realised US$5, 5 million from the sale of diamonds from its Mothae Kimberlite Mine and Lulo Alluvial Mine in Lesotho and Angola respectively.

In a statement to the Lesotho Times yesterday, Lucapa’s Managing Director, Stephen Wetherall, said the US$5, 5 million was the gross income realised from its first diamond sales in 2020.

Mr Wetherall said a combined total of 7854 carats were sold and of these, 6306 carats were recovered at the Mothae Mine while Lulo contributed 1548 carats. However, the Lulo diamonds proved more valuable, fetching US$3, 4 million at an average price of US$2,200 per carat.

“Lucapa Diamond Company and its respective partners are pleased to announce the results from the first sales for 2020 of diamonds from the Lulo mine in Angola and the Mothae mine in Lesotho. The diamond sales from Lulo and Mothae generated combined gross proceeds of US$5, 5 million,” said Mr Wetherall.

“A total of 1548 carats of Lulo diamonds sold for gross proceeds of US$3, 4 million, representing an average price per carat of US$2,200. Mothae Diamonds A total of 6306 carats of Mothae diamonds sold at tender for gross proceeds of US$2, 1 million, representing an average price per carat of US$339”.

Mothae Mine is located close to the high dollar-per carat gem producer, Letšeng Diamonds in Mokhotlong. It was put up for sale by the government in February 2016 after prospective buyer, Paragon Diamonds Limited, failed to secure the requisite funding within the given timeframe.

In April 2017, the government awarded mining rights to the Australia-based Lucapa Diamond Company to develop the mine which had been idle since 2015. It cost Lucapa US$9 million to acquire a 70 percent stake in the Mothae Mine. The government owns the remaining 30 percent share in the mine.

Last year in February, Mothae commenced the first phase of commercial mining operations which the company says will achieve profitability and cement its reputation as one of the major players in the diamond mining industry.

That same month the company got off to a promising start, raking in US$3, 8 million from the sale of rough diamonds at an auction in Antwerp, Belgium.

The diamonds sold at an average price of US$707 per carat.

The Lulo mine in Angola is Lucapa’s flagship mine and it is operated in partnership with Angola’s national diamond company, Endiama, and Rosas & Petalas, a privately owned company. Lucapa holds 40 percent shares in the Lulo mine which began in 2015.

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Lesotho Times

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