Pre-sink activities for both the ventilation and production shafts for Lucara’s underground expansion project (UGP) at the Karowe diamond mine in Botswana were recently completed. The $547 million project is expected to extend mine life to at least 2040, with underground carat production predominantly from the richest zone. It is forecasted to contribute approximately $4 billion in additional revenues, using conservative diamond prices, Lucara said. Mine ramp-up is expected to begin during the first quarter of 2026 with full production from the Karowe UGP expected in the second half of 2026.
Lucara has executed the main sink contract for the production and ventilation shafts and work has already started on the ventilation shaft. The transition from the pre-sink to the main sinking phase has been slower than anticipated, Lucara reported. Still, the company said opportunities have been identified to decrease main sink cycle times and reduce the impact to the schedule.
The production shaft stage winder was installed and roped-up. Procurement of shaft station underground mobile equipment and the mine bulk air cooler was initiated. Construction of the power substation continues. Transmission line towers have been erected in preparation for the stringing of the transmission lines.
Lucara plans to start the main sinking for the production shaft soon. The company hopes to commission a 29-km, 132-kV bulk power supply powerline by year-end.