Lucapa Diamond Company Limited (ASX: LOM) is an Australian diamond company having its mining, development and exploration assets in four regions. In Angola, the company operates on Lulo alluvial mining and kimberlite exploration, along with two partners. In Lesotho, LOM is working on Mothae kimberlite mine development. In Australia, the company is into the discovery of brooking diamond-bearing lamproite, and in Botswana, it plans to drill Orapa Area F kimberlite exploration region in 1Q 2019.
Lulo diamond project in Angola is LOM’s flagship asset. It is into the exploration of large and premium-value alluvial diamonds and has become the highest US$ per carat alluvial diamond producer in the world by producing 11 +100 carat diamonds till date. The mine has been producing diamonds on a commercial scale since 2015. It is currently handling 390 workers and contractors, of which 87% are Angolan nationals.
Today, the company along with its two partners, Empresa Nacional de Diamantes E.P. (Empresa) and Rosas & Petalas (R&P), have declared a total of US$8 million dividend distribution as well as loan payment during its General Assembly of Sociedade Mineira Do Lulo (SML), operating the Lulo alluvial mine. The US$8 million amount will be paid from the cash reserve of SML.
The US$8 million declaration comprises of US$4 million for the loan repayment to LOM and the remaining US$4 million as the dividend distribution to the company along with the partners. Out of the US$4 million of dividend, LOM will be entitled to receive US$1.6 million in line with its 40% interest in Lulo and the remaining will be distributed amongst the partners. Empresa has 32% interest, and R&P has 28% interest in the Lulo mine.
It is the third consecutive year that the group has made the distribution. Prior to this, the company had declared the distribution on 8 March 2017 and 2 March 2016.
On 20 December 2018, the Lesotho mine secured funding of ZAR100 million or US$7 million from the Industrial Development Corporation of South Africa for the development of the Mothae Kimberlite diamond mine in Lesotho. LOM holds 70% interest in the mine, and the remaining 30% is with the Government of the Kingdom of Lesotho. Few days before, the group also recovered a 78-carat white diamond from the mine.
On 7 December 2018, the President of Angola approved a new marketing law for diamonds providing an offer for sale at international tender. SML will be showcasing and selling its seven large and rare diamonds through a stone tender to be held in Luanda in January 2019.
On 19 November 2018, the company announced its report from the sale of diamonds from the Lulo mine. A total of 3,411 carats of diamond were sold for US$4.2 million (gross proceeds) at an average price per carat of US$1,220 bringing the YTD sales of Lulo diamonds to US$24.5 million at an average price per carat of US$1,353.
During the year, the scrip price has declined over 22% and is currently trading at 18.5 cents with a 5.7% increase in price today. It reached a high of 19.5 cents today following the news.
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