Lucara Diamond Corp.’s Karowe mine in Botswana is continuing to deliver exceptional diamonds, including four during the first half of August alone. Among the four was a Type IIa, 336-carat diamond, accompanied by a 184-carat stone, a 94-carat stone, and an 86-carat stone. A 12-carat pale pink diamond was also recovered.
Since recovery of the first large diamond at Karowe in 2013, Lucara has recovered 216 diamonds that have sold for more than $250,000 each. Twelve of these sold for more than $5 million each.
Lucara President and CEO William Lamb said, “The ongoing recovery of large, exceptional diamonds from the Karowe mine continues to support the resource estimates. The resource has consistently produced significant value for the company and its shareholders.
Karowe is a hard-rock, open-pit mine that has a planned depth of 324 m. Diamond production during 2015 is expected to be in the range of 350,000 to 400,000 carats based on plant throughput of 2.2 million to 2.3 million mt. Mine life is estimated at 13 years.
The mine plan is based on a probable reserve of 33.1 million mt containing 5.1 million carats. Indicated resources to a depth of 400 m total 48.07 million mt containing 7.61 million carats. Additional inferred resources from 400 m to 750 m are estimated at 21 million mt containing 3.04 million carats.
The Karowe mine is based on the AK6 kimberlite pipe, which is part of Orapa kimberlite field. The field includes at least 83 kimberlite bodies, varying in size from insignificant dykes to the 110-ha AK1 kimberlite that host’s Debswana mining company’s Orapa mine.
All of the kimberlite intrusions are of post-Karoo age. Of the 83 known kimberlite bodies, five including the AK6, are currently being mined, and a further four are recognized as having economic potential.