Lucapa finds another +100ct diamond at Lesotho mine

Lucapa finds another +100ct diamond at Lesotho mine
The 101 carat D-colour Type IIa white diamond found at Mothae. (Image courtesy of Lucapa Diamond.)

Australia’s Lucapa Diamond (ASX:LOM) said on Thursday it had recovered a 101-carat white diamond from its 70%-owned Mothae mine in Lesotho, Africa.

The company said the recovery of the D-colour, Type IIa white diamond was yet a further reinforcement of the quality and capacity of the asset.

With the find, diamonds over 100 carats unearthed at the southern lobe of the mine totalled four.

The Mothae mine turned out to hold 280% more resources than originally estimated

“The recovery of this exceptional 101 carat diamond brings a positive end to 2020 for Mothae and its hard-working teams,” managing director Stephen Wetherall said in the statement.

The Mothae mine has constantly yielded diamonds over 100 carats, and it turned out to hold 280% more resources than originally estimated.

Lucapa and the government of Lesotho, which has a 30% stake in the mine, have been in the past two months working on a potential expansion at Mothae.

“[We] look forward to completing the capacity expansion already underway at Mothae and to producing many more exceptional diamonds from this resource,” Wetherall said.

Young mine

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.

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

Lucapa also has a 40% stake in the prolific Lulo mine in Angola, where operations resumed partially in May, after a covid-triggered hiatus.

Earlier this week, the company recovered a 127-carat diamond at the operation — the sixteenth stone larger than 100 carats found at that operation to date.