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Mothae moves to permanent site

by Lesotho Times
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Bereng Mpaki

MOTHAE diamond mine has moved the majority of its camp and administration offices to a newly built permanent location within its leased site in Mokhotlong.

The new camp consists of a kitchen, dining hall, clinic, accommodation blocks and the administration offices. It was opened during the third quarter of the mine’s financial year ending 30 September 2021.

The majority shareholder of the mine, Lucapa Diamond Company, said in its quarterly report that the remaining construction works were scheduled for completion before the end of 2021.

Lucapa however, did not disclose how much the mine has invested in the construction of the new camp and administration offices.

The Australian Stock Exchange (ASX) listed Lucapa owns 70 percent of Mothae mine while the government holds the remaining 30 percent shares.

“During the quarter, good progress was made with the majority of the Mothae camp and administration offices now moved to their new permanent site,” the mine said in a statement this week.

“The kitchen, dining hall, administration offices, clinic and accommodation blocks were handed over by the contractor on time and on budget and are being fully utilised by the mine. The balance of the accommodation units will be relocated prior to the end of the fourth quarter.”

Lucapa said additional facilities such as a recreation room, gym, training centre and others would be added later to improve the well-being and comfort of the mine-site team.

The mining and processing operations improved during the quarter under review despite weather and power supply challenges, the statement added.

“The plant achieved record throughput of 344 978 tonnes and its highest average feed rate post the plant upgrade. This was achieved despite ramp up, inclement weather, challenges relating to electricity supply and unscheduled plant downtime. With many of the challenges overcome and warmer weather approaching, it is expected that the plant ramps up in the fourth quarter will deliver against plan.

“During the quarter, Mothae recovered 9 567 carats and delivered a monthly record in August with 3 776 carats recovered. The largest diamond recovered during the quarter was 51 carats, with fancy light pinks and yellows also recovered. There were 208 diamonds greater than 4, 8 carats and 60 special stones recovered during the quarter.”

“The average prices achieved for Mothae have been favourably impacted by the recovering diamond market, with year-to-date prices of US$756 per carat being 88 percent ahead of those achieved in the previous comparative period,” Lucapa said.


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