Lucapa finds 404 carat diamond in Angola

Australian company claims it's the 27th largest diamond ever found

Australia-based Lucapa Diamond (ASX:LOM) on Monday announced it has unearthed a 404.2-carat white diamond at its Lulo mine, in Angola.

According to Lucapa, the Type 2a D-colour stone is the largest diamond ever recovered in Anglo and the biggest diamond ever found by an Australian company. The company claims it's the 27th largest diamond ever found globally.

It's the fourth 100+ carat gem discover since Lucapa and its partners began commercial alluvial diamond mining operations at Lulo in January 2015. Lucapa owns 40% of the mine. Shares in the A$105 million company shot up nearly 30% on the news and continued to advance at the open in Sydney on Tuesday.

According to the miner, the finding highlights the potential for widespread recovery of large gems from the mine, which could prove to be more valuable than Angola’s biggest diamond producer, Catoca, which is also the world’s fourth-largest kimberlite mine.

Lulo, about 700 kilometers (435 miles) east of Angola’s capital Luanda, is a joint venture between the company and the Angolan government. Lulo is located 150km from Alrosa's Catoca mine, the world's fourth largest diamond mine.

The mine hosts type-2a diamonds which account for less than 1% of global supply and, according to Lucapa, the world's most famous large, white, flawless diamonds belong to this category.

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.

The government has recently reduced taxes and cut state ownership requirements as it seeks to rekindle the industry after the global financial crisis forced mines to close.