Lucapa Diamond and the Government of the Kingdom of Lesotho have been recovering special diamonds during the ongoing bulk sampling programme at the Mothae diamond mine in Lesotho - the latest of which was the recovery of a 12 carat diamond.
The 11.88 carat diamond was recently recovered from the North zone and is the first Special recovered from that section of the Mothae kimberlite pipe from current bulk sampling.
Significantly, the latest recovery at Mothae means all three zones sampled have produced specials - an 89 carat was the largest special recovered from the South-East zone and a 25 carat was also recovered from the Neck zone.
The Mothae kimberlite pipe is a high-quality diamond resource located within 5 km of Letšeng, the highest US$ per carat kimberlite diamond mine in the world.
"The special diamond recoveries were extremely encouraging and validated Lucapa Diamond's decision to commit to a concurrent bulk sampling programme to improve the resource as the new 150 tph Mothae commercial diamond plant was being built," says Lucapa Diamond MD Stephen Wetherall.
“The concurrent Mothae bulk sampling programme was planned to provide additional data over and above the information used to compile the original JORC resource.
"Certain areas of the kimberlite pipe which hadn’t historically been sampled (Neck zone), or where there had been very limited historical testing (South-East and North zones), were thought to be underestimated as a result.
"At the time of acquisition, we believed there was much upside here and this programme is designed to deliver that upside.
“To have already recovered special sized diamonds from early sampling tonnages in all three of these areas gives us great confidence we can achieve this goal," says Wetherall.
"It also adds to our excitement as we advance construction of our new 150 tph plant, which remains on track for commercial diamond production later this year to complement the high-value production from our Lulo mine in Angola," he adds.