Eira Thomas, President & CEO comments: “The measures that Lucara took early in the pandemic, including the decision not to sell rough diamonds in excess of +10.8 carats after Q1, helped protect and support prices for large, high value diamonds that account for more than 70% of our revenues.
“These efforts in conjunction with our transformational supply agreement with HB Antwerp executed in July, resulted in strong price recoveries by Q4, a trend which has continued into 2021.
“The recent recovery of two, high value +300 carat stones continue to highlight the extraordinary nature of the Karowe resource and underpin the rationale for underground expansion, extending our mine life out to at least 2040.
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“In late 2020, the Government of Botswana also granted Lucara a mining license extension for 25 years, a critical milestone for the underground project, paving the way for the completion of a supplementary debt financing in support of full project sanction, anticipated in the second half of 2021.”
- Revenue of $42.4 million or $402 per carat sold in Q4 2020. This includes diamonds sold through a combination of regular tenders, Clara, and through HB Antwerp (“HB”) under the supply agreement announced in July 2020.
- FY2020 total operating cash costs of $27.80 per tonne processed, 13% lower than the prior year.
- Adjusted EBITDA in Q4 2020 of $10.2 million marks a continued strong operating margin of 49%.
- Lucara continues to have a strong availability of working capital, including $4.9 million in cash at the end of Q4 and $19.5 million available from a revolving term credit facility. No long-term debt.
- Specials recovered (+10.8 carats) equated to 6.7% weight percentage of total recovered carats, the fourth year to achieve greater than 6%.
- Extension of the Karowe mining license for a period of 25 years to 2046, marking a critical step in the advancement of the Karowe underground expansion project.
- In January 2021, the Company announced the recoveries of two, top white gem quality diamonds (341 carats and 378 carats) from ore sourced from the M/PK(s) unit within the South Lobe. Both stones were recovered unbroken.