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Lucapa Diamond Company and its partners have provided progress updates on the kimberlite exploration program at the prolific Lulo diamond project in Angola.

This program aims to identify the hard-rock sources of the exceptional alluvial diamonds being mined along the Cacuilo River at Lulo.

The current phase of the Lulo kimberlite exploration program commenced in 2019 after a detailed technical review of all previous results highlighted 16 kimberlites and eight other targets as being the most prospective to host diamonds.

The Canguige catchment area within the Lulo diamond field became the focus of the kimberlite exploration program following the recovery of 45 diamonds of up to 3.75 carats from a stream sample taken from the Canguige river, a tributary to the Cacuilo River.

Five of the priority kimberlites and two targets highlighted in the 2019 technical review are located within the Canguige catchment.

The National State of Emergency declared in Angola to prevent the spread of COVID-19 caused some delays to the Lulo kimberlite exploration program and impacted the scope of work.

Notwithstanding these measures, delineation drilling of the priority kimberlites within the Canguige catchment has continued as well as the construction and repair of access roads and bridges following a record wet season rainfall to enable bulk samples to be excavated and transported to the Lulo diamond plant to test for diamonds.

Kimberlite L071 remains the focus of the delineation drilling program, with a total of 23 core holes drilled to date to define near-surface kimberlite material suitable for bulk sampling.

Significantly, two shallow zones of high interest volcaniclastic kimberlite material have been identified from the logging of drill core from L071.

The excavation and processing of a bulk sample from L071 is scheduled to commence in June 2020, signalling the start of an exciting new phase in the Lulo kimberlite exploration program.

Thereafter, delineation drilling will continue the other priority targets in the Canguige catchment in preparation for further bulk samples, which will be progressively excavated for processing through the Lulo diamond plant.

The next stage of the program will involve testing the remaining 11 priority kimberlites and six targets elsewhere in the Lulo diamond field which were highlighted in the technical review.

Lucapa MD, Stephen Wetherall, says the upcoming bulk sampling campaign represented an exciting new phase in the Lulo kimberlite exploration program.

“The kimberlite bulk sampling campaign which is set to commence at L071 next month is built on the results of many years of exploration work undertaken by Lucapa and its partners to unlock Lulo’s true potential – in order to find the hard-rock sources of the rare and valuable alluvial diamonds we are recovering along the Cacuilo River,” says Wetherall.

“We and our partners look forward to advancing our kimberlite bulk sampling and delineation drilling workstreams throughout the Angolan dry season and updating shareholders with results as they come to hand.”

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“These exploration programs will continue in parallel with our alluvial mining operations at Lulo, where recent recoveries have included a 171 carat gem-quality white diamond – the 15th +100 carat stone we have recovered to date along the Cacuilo River.”

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