HomeDiamonds & GemstonesLucara secures US$220 million for Karowe underground expansion

Lucara secures US$220 million for Karowe underground expansion

Lucara Diamond Corp. has announced that it has received credit approved commitments from a syndicate of five Mandated Lead Arrangers for a senior secured project financing debt package of up to US$220 million to fund the underground expansion at Lucara’s 100%-owned Karowe Mine in Botswana.

The Facilities will include two tranches: A project finance facility of US$170 million to fund the development of the underground project, and a working capital facility of US$50 million to support the on-going operation of the Karowe open pit mine. Financial closing of the Facilities is subject to satisfactory completion of definitive documentation, and satisfaction of certain terms and conditions, including appropriate KYC checks.

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The MLAs are ING Bank, Natixis, Societe Generale, London Branch, Africa Finance Corporation and Afreximbank.

Eira Thomas, President and CEO commented:

“Securing credit commitments for the arrangement of +$200 million senior debt facilities from five leading international financial institutions, with significant mining and metals track records and experience in Africa, is an important achievement for Lucara and a strong endorsement of our underground expansion plans. 

“The Karowe diamond mine remains one of the world’s highest margin diamond mines and in just over eight years of production, has yielded 4 of the 10 largest diamonds in recorded history, including the 1,758 carat Sewelô, the largest diamond recovered from Botswana, and the 1,109 Lesedi La Rona which sold for US$53 million. This debt package will supplement cash flows from continued operations of the open pit over the next 5 years, extending Karowe’s mine-life out from 2025 until at least 2040.