Australia-based Lucapa Diamond (ASX:LOM) has unearthed a 63.05-caratwhite diamond from its Lulo mine, in Angola.
The stone is the largest diamond recovered since Lucapa and its partners began commercial alluvial diamond mining operations at Lulo in January 2015.
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. The mine hosts type-2a diamonds, which the company qualifies as “the world’s rarest and most valuable gems”. These kinds of precious rock 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.