Lucapa Diamond restarts Mothae mine in Lesotho

The 1.1Mtpa Mothae diamond treatment plant in Lesotho, commissioned this week. (Image courtesy of Lucapa Diamond.)

Australia’s Lucapa Diamond (ASX: LOM) is restarting operations at its Mothae mine in Lesotho, Africa, which had been halted since late March to help curb the spread of the coronavirus.

The Perth-based company said it plans to escalate operations at the mine to 75% capacity as some covid-19 restrictions remain in place.

Lucapa plans to escalate operations at the mine to 75% capacity as some covid-19 restrictions in Lesotho remain in place

Commercial production at Mothae, which the Perth-based company acquired in early 2017, began in January last year, with the opening of a new 1.1 million tonne-per-year plant that is progressively ramping up to its nameplate capacity.

It produced more than 30,000 carats in its first year of operations, including three diamonds of more than 100 carats each.

Lucapa has a 70% stake in the operation. The government of Lesotho owns the remaining 30%.

The mine is located only 5km from Gem Diamonds’ (LON:GEMD) Letšeng, the world’s highest dollar-per-carat kimberlite diamond mine.

The company also has a 40% stake in the prolific Lulo mine in Angola, where operations resumed partially in May.

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