Lucapa Diamond Company had an incredible 2019 year on the back of its new high-value Mothae kimberlite mine in Lesotho, which commenced commercial production on 1 January 2019.
While former owner Lucara Diamond Corporation was unable to find a viable solution to develop the project, Lucapa took a financially smart approach to the project, delivered it on a smaller scale with a smart and efficient plant delivered by Consulmet, with a plan to expand the mine quickly once it is generating steady cash flows.
This article first appeared in Mining Elites in Africa 2020
While construction of the mine and plant underwent the typical challenges associated with diamond mining in Lesotho – a winding and lengthy mountain pass and snow-like conditions in Winter, the mine moved into production as scheduled.
The diamonds it has recovered to date have also been exceptional for a new start-up kimberlite project where mining must uncover weathered material in order to get to fresh rock. As such, the company’s diamond recovery potential is set to increase further as the company moves into its future years at the mine.
The company recovered its first +100 carat stone (126 carats) in May 2019, and as of the latter half of 2019 had uncovered an additional six +50 carat diamonds, followed by the recovery of 39 +10.8 carat stones, the large majority of which were recovered by XRT machines that are installed at the process plant.
With a large contingency of local Lesotho employees, all very passionate and committed to seeing the Mothae mine succeed in every regard, this is a project by which other diamond juniors should follow.