‘Are you sitting down’ – Lucara CEO recounts 1,111 carat diamond news

William Lamb, CEO of Lucara Diamond Corp. (TSX:LUC), got an urgent call from his chief operating officer, Paul Day, in Botswana at 1:29 am. Monday morning.

Lamb called him back at 4 a.m.

“He said, ‘Are you sitting down?’” Lamb told Business in Vancouver. “His comment was: ‘Congratulations – you are the CEO of the first company in 100 years to recover a stone over 1,000 carats.’ The fact it hasn’t happened in 100 years, when it does actually happen to you, it’s a bit of a shock.”

The gem quality diamond is 1,111 carats, which makes it the second largest ever discovered.

Image of Karowe Mine from Lucara Diamonds corporate video.

The largest was the 3,106 carat Cullinan diamond discovered in South Africa in 1905. It was acquired by the British government and gifted to Queen Victoria.

Since then, the largest diamond that had been recovered was 507 carats.

“This one is an order of magnitude larger than that,” Lamb said.

The diamond is 65 millimetres by 56 mm by 40 mm in size. It's not just large — it is rated as Type IIa stone, which means it has virtually no impurities. Less than 2% of the diamonds in the world are rated Type IIa.

Image of Karowe Mine from Lucara Diamonds corporate video.

Lamb said he’s not even going to try to put a price on the diamond.

“To try to put an estimate on it, I think we start to create an expectation in the market, and I’d rather have the market analyze it and tells what they believe it’s worth,” he said.

He added that the diamond will not likely be sold in the usual way.

Image of Karowe Mine from Lucara Diamonds corporate video.

“We don’t believe we’re going to actually sell this in the normal process. This will be sold as a single stone.”

Lucara has been on a roll lately. Monday’s find followed the discovery – announced just last week – of a 348 carat diamond. Earlier, in July, the company sold a 342 carat diamond for $20.5 million.

Lucara’s Karowe mine cost US$120 million to build and last year the company spent US$55 million upgrading it.

It has three other exploration projects, all in Botswana.

By Nelson Bennett, Business in Vancouver

Image of Karowe Mine from Lucara Diamonds corporate video.