Lucapa to invest $7 million upgrading Lulo diamond mine in Angola
Australian Lucapa Diamond (ASX:LOM) will invest $7 million in the coming months to upgrade its Lulo mine in Angola, which has yielded major precious rocks in the past six months.
Lulo is located 150km from Alrosa's Catoca mine, the world's fourth largest diamond mine.
Developments planned for Lulo, located about 700 kilometers (435 miles) east of the capital Luanda, include new earthmoving equipment, vehicles for the alluvial and kimberlite exploration programs, as well as camp upgrades.
The investment injection comes as Lucapa and its joint venture partners, state-owned diamond company Endiama and private partner Rosas & Petalas, announced the official incorporation of Sociedade Mineira do Lulo (SML).
The Lulo diamond project, located 150km from Alrosa's Catoca mine, the world's fourth largest diamond mine, hosts type-2a diamonds which account for less than 1% of global supply.
Lucapa holds a 35-year license for the project, which recently bore a 404.2-carat white diamond that, according to Lucapa, is the largest diamond ever recovered in Angola and the biggest diamond ever found by an Australian company.
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.