Home Business Mothae recovers ‘exceptional’ 64-carat diamond

Mothae recovers ‘exceptional’ 64-carat diamond

by Lesotho Times

Bereng Mpaki

MOTHAE Diamond Mine has recovered what it is calls the ‘best quality diamond recovered to date’ at its Mokhotlong operations.

The majority shareholder of the mine, Lucapa Diamond Company, announced the recovery of the Type II D colour 64-carat stone on Tuesday this week.

The diamond, which is the seventh larger than 50 carats recovered at the mine since the commencement of commercial operations in January this year, was unearthed from the mine’s higher-margin zones of its southern pit, which had recently been dewatered for access.

Mothae Mine, is 70 percent owned by Australia based Lucapa while the remaining 30 percent is controlled by the government.

“Lucapa Diamond Company Limited and the Government of the Kingdom of Lesotho are pleased to announce the recovery of an exceptional 64-carat diamond from the Mothae Kimberlite mine in Lesotho,” the company said in a statement.

Lucapa’s managing director Stephen Wetherall said the Type IIa D- colour gem is considered the best individual diamond recovered to date from the new Mothae mine, underlining its state as a source of large and premium value stones.

In May this year, the mine recovered a massive high quality 126-carat diamond, the largest recovery since January 2019 and the largest gem-quality diamond ever recovered from Mothae.

The 126-carat gem was also the sixth diamond that is larger than 50 carats recovered since Lucapa commenced pre-production bulk sampling programme at Mothae in 2018.

“The recovery of this exceptional 64-carat gem also represents a great start to our mining campaign in the higher margin zones in the southern pit at Mothae,” Mr Wetherall said.

The statement also said, “in line with recent guidance, the commencement of dewatering of the southern pit into the main 500 000m3 (cubic) water dam currently under construction at Mothae has enabled mining to transition to this higher margin zones of the kimberlite pipe in the third quarter of 2019. Mining is scheduled to continue in the southern pit throughout 2019.”

In April 2017, the government awarded mining rights to Lucapa Diamond Company to develop the mine which had been idle since 2015. This company has completed trial mining and started commercial mining in January this year.

Mothae was acquired by Lucapa at the cost of US$9 million in 2017 and invested more US$25 million for the construction of the first phase of the commercial and bulk sampling operations.

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