Image credit: Lucapa Diamond
Lucapa says diamond production at its 70%-owned Mothae mine, in Lesotho, is expected to grow by 45% to between 31 000 and 44 000 carats per year.
This follows an increase in the processing plant and mine capacity to 1.6 million tonnes per annum (Mtpa) from 1.1Mtpa.
Mothae's revenue is also projected to grow 45% to between $21 million and $30 million per year.
The production target and forecast financial information are based on the mining of 9.4Mt of indicated resource to be mined from the South lobe over the first six years following the expansion.
"The resultant economies of scale achieved by moving to 1.6Mtpa reduce the unit operating costs and increase net operating margins, which should lead to increased annual earnings," it said.
The Mothae kimberlite resource contains large and high-quality diamonds, the occurrence of which, makes it the second-highest average US$ per carat kimberlite mine in the world at between $500 and $750 per carat on average.
More than 75% of the Mothae revenue comes from +4.8 carat diamonds.
The mine also recovered three +100 carat diamonds in 2019.
Mathew Nyaungwa, Editor in Chief of the African Bureau, Rough&Polished
Source: Rough Polished 10-11-2020