Lucara's Karowe diamond mine in Botswana has yielded its first precious stones.
Vancouver-based Lucara (TSX:LUC) said over 5,300 carats of diamonds were recovered from the North Lobe of the deposit, with an average grade of 32 carats per 100 hundred tonnes – double the average deposit grade. The company said several large diamonds were also unearthed including four stones larger than 10.8 carats.
"The successful ore commissioning and recovery of the first production diamonds, especially including some high quality large diamonds, is an exciting time for the entire construction and operations team," said President and CEO William Lamb.
Ore commissioning will continue through April with production expected to ramp up through the second quarter.
Along with Karowe, Lucara also has the Mothae diamond mine in Lesotho, which is currently trial mining.
Lucara's stock was up 11.83% Monday on the Toronto main board.