The international diamond group, Lucapa Diamond Company Limited (ASX: LOM) has high-valued mines in Angola and Lesotho, with exploration projects in Australia, Botswana, and Angola. The company on 21 March 2019, provided an update on Alluvial Diamond Resource for the Lulo diamond mine in Angola (Lulo Diamond Resource). LOM is under the partnership with Rosas & Petalas and Empresa Nacional de Diamantes E.P.
Z Star Mineral Resource Consultants (Private) Limited (Z Star), an External consultant of Cape Town, South Africa, independently estimated and reconciled The Lulo Diamond Resource, on a depletion and addition basis as on December 31, 2018. The resource estimation comprised of 19 months of mining depletion at Lulo from May 31, 2017, to December 31, 2018. During, 19 months, more than 30,000 carats of diamonds were recovered and sold for approximately US$ 62 Mn. This extensive ongoing resource-definition, drilling and sampling program included an additional 4,200 auger holes (36,000 meters drilled). The current sale of Diamond was estimated at prices above the previous resource estimation on May 31, 2017.
The updated Lulo Diamond Resource comprises a 90% increase of in-situ carats to 80,400, which was beyond four times Lulo’s production of 19,196 carats in the calendar year 2018. Also, it was the fourth year of commercial production at the alluvial mine. Additionally, Z star modelled the average US dollar per carat value for Lulo diamonds which is a 17% increase on the previous modelled estimate of US$1,215 per carat to US$1,420 per carat.
Till date, the overall sales of Lulo diamonds stands at approximately US$141 Mn with an average price per carat of around US$2,100.
The Company’s Managing Director, Mr Stephen Wetherall stated that the update on Lulo Diamond was a result of another significant exploration workstream, undertaken by the Lulo partners in parallel, with the alluvial mining and kimberlite drilling and sampling programs.
Mr Wetherall further stated that the significant positive diamond marketing reforms enabled producers like Lulo, to achieve international market prices for their diamonds. The Lulo partners’ plans to increase alluvial production in 2019. It is supported by the near doubling of in-situ resource carats in the upgraded Lulo Diamond Resource.
In a previous announcement on November 5, 2018, the auger drilling program was successful in defining new alluvial sources of gravels in the flood plains (leziria areas), along the Cacuilo River valley within the Lulo concession. Only the portion of alluvial gravels defined by drilling in these new areas up to December 31, 2018, has been included by Z Star in the updated Lulo Diamond Resource.
The resource-definition auger drilling program will continue at Lulo throughout 2019, with exploration targets of 250,000 - 300,000 bank cubic meters of alluvial gravels having already been identified.
On stock information front, Lucapa Diamond’s shares traded flat during the day’s trading session and closed at a price of A$0.185, as noted on March 21, 2019, with the market capitalization of ~$87.82 Mn. Its 52- weeks high was noted at A$0.315 and 52- weeks low at A$0.165 with the average volume of 371,102. Its absolute return for 5 years, 1 year and 6 months are 1.26%, -19.57%, and -21.28% respectively.
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