The latest sale of Lulo project (Angola) production by Lucapa Diamond Company (ASX:LOM) reached a new record: 1 863 ct were sold for US $8.3 million (at a US$ 4 452 per carat average price) – ASX Announcement of 07 November.
That announcement follows an earlier dated 27 October describing the continued recovery of large diamonds in the company’s alluvial mining operation in the Lulo Project (Angola), including five white type II-A – 172, 104, 77, 72 and 71 ct – and one 39 ct fancy pink (the largest to date at Lulo).
Exceptional diamonds are forever and the last few months have been an epoch of new exceptional diamonds. In the wake of the discoveries in Botswana (Lucara Diamonds Karowe kimberlite south lobe – the 1,111 ct Type IIa Lesedi La Rona and several other large diamonds) and in Angola (Lucapa Diamond Company – 404 ct recovered in the Lulo project, recently sold by 16 million USD), Petra Diamonds recently announced the discovery of an exceptional 32.33 carat pink diamond from the Williamson mine in Tanzania. This diamond was sold for US$15.0 million (US$463,965 per carat); Petra Diamonds also retains an interest in the polished proceeds (Petra will receive 10% of the value uplift of the polished).
Both the Karowe kimberlite (especially its south lobe) and the Lulo alluvials (and the close by kimberlites) are establishing a name as new sources for very large diamonds. Relatively new technological developments – the XRT diamond recovery machines, have also had a major contribution in the surge of discoveries.
Lucapa Diamond Company Limited (ASX: LOM) just announced the sale of a fourth parcel of diamonds from the Lulo Diamond Concession in Angola for gross proceeds of A$2.9 million as alluvial mining operations at the project continue to ramp up.
The sale represented an exceptional average price of A$1,870/carat (US$1,500) for the 1,539 carat parcel, demonstrating the exceptional quality and premium value of the alluvial diamonds being currently mined at Lulo.
The latest sale brings to ~A$9.7 million the gross proceeds generated to date from the sale of four parcels of Lulo diamonds totalling 3,856 carats. This represents an average overall sale price of more than A$2,500/carat.
Lucapa Diamond Company Limited (ASX: LOM) (“Lucapa” or the “Company”) is preparing to commence the next phase of the the Company’s kimberlite exploration program at the Lulo Diamond Concession in Angola. New program includes extensive further evaluation of four known diamond-bearing Lulo kimberlites as Lucapa steps up its search for the sources of the exceptional alluvial diamonds being mined at Lulo. – March 23, 2015 ASX Announcement.
More than 80 kimberlite targets to be sampled and/or drilled at Lulo as part of a comprehensive 24-month program which builds on the positive kimberlite exploration results achieved to date.
New program to commence in April with extensive further evaluation of four known diamond- bearing pipes at Lulo and laboratory analysis of drill core.
First bulk samples also to be excavated from the priority L46 kimberlite, which has been identified as a likely source of the high-grade diamonds recovered from the E46 alluvial area at Lulo.
Program includes drilling of 48 priority targets in the western kimberlite province and first testing of 38 targets in the new eastern kimberlite province at Lulo.
Kimberlite program will utilise the original 10tph diamond sampling plant at Lulo to enable continuous alluvial diamond mining through main 150tph diamond plant.
Lucapa Diamond Company Limited (ASX: LOM) recently released some reports containing information (grade and stone size) on the samples recovered in their Lulo concession – our post of December 19 about the scheduled start of the alluvial operations.
The releases are detailed but we decided to extract the locations of their reported sampling pits and kimberlite and convert it to kmz layers so that you are able to feel first hand the information by browsing it with Google Earth or another suitable application. Consider it a late New Year gift from Sínese or a way to celebrate this blog’s 50th post.
Lucapa Diamond Mining – Alluvial mining operations due next January
Lucapa Diamond Company just announced (Dec 18) that they will launch mining next January.
You can get their announcement here and an earlier one about recent (Dec 8) bulk sampling results here. These results (high grade bulk sampling) are particularly interesting as they are close to the current plant location.
A quick look into the detailed data just released shows some promise:
Grades are interesting – 10.7 cphm3, or 0.107 carats per in situ cubic meter; please note though that sampling grades in alluvial deposits have a marked nugget effect. These are bulk (large volume) samples which attenuate that effect but do they represent the general deposits?
Diamond size and parcel values are very good. Again, caution is always necessary, as these variables may be dependent on distance to source(s) (kimberlite). Samples do seem to have a good size. Can they be generalised to the total deposits?
The only darker shades of grey are the facts that operations are starting in the worst time possible – the peak of the rainy season and the apparently tight money (as they will need further capital for efficiency improvements, some of it obtained with a scheduled diamond sale):
As part of the diamond mining preparations, Lucapa is evaluating various debt financing options to fund the following Phase 1 optimisation and technology improvements:
– 150 tonne per hour treatment plant allow for wet gravel reception during the heavy rainfall months;
– Recovery plant – investment in new x luminescent Type IIa diamonds, which bulk sampling results the diamond population; and
– Working capital – Phase 1 mining throughput (bcm) per month within H1 2015 capital requirement will be supplemented with the sale of a third parcel of diamonds during Q1 2015.
All in all, Lulo Project shows good promise; they have still hurdles to overcome.
Just read the ASX announcement about LUCAPA DIAMOND COMPANY Limited (ASX: LOM) Lulo Project alluvial mining licence agreement. It is another step in the right direction. You can read it here and make your own opinion.