Gem diamonds

ASX-listed Lucapa Diamond Company and its partners have announced the launch of the next exploration phase to locate the kimberlite source of the high-value alluvial diamonds at the Lulo project in Angola.

The next 12-month program is based on an extensive technical review of Lulo kimberlite exploration results to date, including those of the extensive 2018 drilling program which confirmed a further 70 kimberlites within the Lulo alluvial diamond field, which increased the total known kimberlites within the concession to more than 100.

As set out in the ASX announcement of 27 May 2019, this technical review included input from some of the world’s leading independent diamond consultants.

Lulo is the world’s highest-value alluvial diamond field, producing diamond sales of US$146 million to date at an average price per carat of >US$2,000.

Lulo has produced 13 +100 carat alluvial diamonds, including Angola’s two biggest recorded diamonds weighing 404 carats and 227 carats.

The next kimberlite phase builds on all the previous drilling, sampling and exploration work completed by Lucapa and its Lulo partners to narrow down the hard-rock diamond source or sources of the exceptional Lulo alluvial diamonds.

Lucapa MD Stephen Wetherall states: “The next phase of the kimberlite program builds on the great body of exploration work completed over many years at Lulo to pin-point the source pipes hosting the world’s best alluvial diamonds.”

“Like the diamond experts involved in our recent technical review, we remain convinced that the kimberlite source of these diamonds awaits discovery beneath our prolific alluvial diamond field.”

Key features of the next phase include:

  • An extensive stream bulk sampling program focusing on six major tributaries feeding from high-interest areas into the Cacuilo River upstream of Mining Blocks 8 and 6, where some of the largest and most valuable alluvial diamonds have been recovered at Lulo
  • Follow-up delineation drilling of 16 Lulo kimberlite pipes rated most prospective to host diamonds. This drilling will help define the structure and surface area of each pipe, including surface volcaniclastic kimberlite material for later bulk sampling
  • Drilling eight additional kimberlite targets, including anomalies highlighted in the technical review demonstrating reversely polarised magnetic signatures
  • The new kimberlite exploration program will be completed over the next 12 months at a budgeted cost of US$3.3 million. As in the past, Lucapa will fund the exploration costs from a portion of its returns from Lulo alluvial mining company Sociedade Mineira Do Lulo. Exploration thereafter will be results-driven.
  • Further to the ASX announcement of 27 May 2019, the new exploration phase has been reviewed by the Lulo partners, with delineation drilling commencing at the L14 kimberlite pipe upstream of Mining Block 8.