The in-situ resource carats at Lucapa Diamond Company's Lulo diamond mine in Angola have increased to 80 400 at a modelled average price per carat of US$1 420.

Angola – The Lulo diamond resource was independently estimated and reconciled on a depletion and addition basis as at 31 December 2018, by external consultants Z Star Mineral Resource Consultants of Cape Town, South Africa updating the previous Lulo diamond resource dated 31 May 2017.

The updated Lulo diamond resource was estimated after accounting for:

  • 19 months of mining depletion at Lulo to 31 December 2018, during which time >30 000 carats of diamonds were recovered and sold for approximately $62 million;
  • The definition of additional resources and improving knowledge on existing resource areas from an extensive ongoing resource-definition drilling and sampling programme which included an additional 4 200 auger holes (36 000 metres drilled); and
  • Diamond sales at prices above the previous resource estimate dated 31 May 2017.

Notwithstanding the depletion of >30 000 carats from mining, the updated Lulo diamond resource contains a 90% increase of in-situ carats to 80 400. This total equates to more than four times Lulo’s production of 19 196 carats in calendar 2018, which was the fourth year of commercial production at the alluvial mine.

In addition, the average US$ per carat value for Lulo diamonds modelled by Z Star in the updated Lulo diamond resource is $1 420 per carat, a 17% increase on the previous modelled estimate of $1 215 per carat.

Overall sales of Lulo diamonds to date total approximately $141 million at an average price per carat of approximately $2 100.

Lucapa Diamond Company MD Stephen Wetherall said the updated Lulo diamond resource represented the results of another significant exploration workstream undertaken by the Lulo partners in parallel with the alluvial mining and kimberlite drilling and sampling programmes.

“Together with the significant positive diamond marketing reforms introduced in Angola enabling producers like Lulo to achieve international market prices for their diamonds, the near doubling of insitu resource carats in the upgraded Lulo diamond resource supports the Lulo partners’ (which include Lucapa Diamond Company, Endiama and Rosas & Petalas) a plans to increase alluvial production in 2019,” he says.