Finds at Lucapa’s Lulo project jump on record mined diamonds

Australia’s Lucapa Diamond (ASX:LOM) said Thursday production at its 40%-owned prolific Lulo project, in Angola, rose 20% during the June quarter.

Production at the mine, which has yielded massive diamonds this year, reached 5,058 carats during the three months to June, up from the 4,203 carats in the previous corresponding period, the company said.

The total weight of special stones dug up by Lucapa rose by 18%, to 1,412 ct, while the number of those finds also increased by 7%, to 61, bringing the amount of unusual stones produced during the first half of the year to 118.

The diamond production increases, said the company, were generated from a 27% rise in mining volumes to 72,671 bulk cubic metres – a record quarterly result.

Sales in the period were up 6% when compared to the same quarter last year, to hit $5 million. After that, Lulo has been left with a diamond inventory of 2,755ct, 61% higher than what it had last year in the same quarter.

Findings at Lucapa’s Lulo diamond project jump on record mined volumes

Selection of Lulo Specials in the unsold diamond inventory. (Image courtesy of Lucapa Diamond.)

Lucapa has a 35-year license for Lulo, which in February bore a 404.2-carat white diamond, considered the largest diamond ever recovered in Angola and the biggest diamond ever found by an Australian company.

It also holds a 70% interest in the Lesotho-based Mothae project, located within 5 km of Gem Diamonds' (LON:GEMD) Letšeng mine, which in February yielded a 910-carat rock, the fifth biggest gem-quality diamond ever found.

Angola is the world’s No.4 diamond producer by value and No.6 by volume. Its industry, which began a century ago under Portuguese colonial rule, is successfully emerging from a long period of difficulty as a result of a civil war that ended in 2002.