Lucara finds unbroken 549-carat diamond, fourth-largest mined at Karowe

The stone was found a Karowe, one of the world’s most prolific sources of large, high value type IIA diamonds. (Image courtesy of Lucara Diamond.)

Canada’s Lucara Diamond (TSX:LUC) has found an unbroken 549-carat white diamond at its prolific Karowe mine in Botswana, the same asset that last year yielded the 1,758-carat Sewelô (“rare find”), the second-largest diamond ever mined.

The new stone, which the company said was “of exceptional purity,” was recovered from direct milling of ore sourced from the EM/PK(S) unit of the South Lobe. Another big find, a 176 carat diamond, was also recovered that block in the past few days.

So far in 2020, the operation has produced six diamonds greater than 100 carats

“Lucara is extremely pleased to be starting off 2020 with the recovery of two, large, high quality diamonds that builds on the positive momentum generated following the completion of a strong fourth quarter sale in December,” chief executive Eira Thomas said in the statement.

The finds follow last month’s announcement of a partnership between the Vancouver-based miner and fashion house Louis Vuitton, which will turn Sewelô into a fine jewellery collection.

Karowe, which began commercial operations in 2012, last year yielded more than 20 diamonds larger than 100 carats, eight of them exceeding 200 carats. So far in 2020, the operation has produced six diamonds greater than 100 carats, Lucara said.

The company is close to completing a feasibility study into potential underground production and extension of Karowe mine’s productive life.

Lucara’s Karowe mine has yielded two of the three largest diamonds ever found.