Lucapa Diamond Co. and its partners Endiama and Rosas & Petalas have launched the next phase of exploration to locate the kimberlite source of the high-value alluvial diamonds that they mine at their Lulo project in Angola. The 12-month program is based on an extensive technical review of Lulo kimberlite exploration results to date, including those of a 2018 drilling program that increased the total known kimberlites within the concession to more than 100.

The current program includes stream bulk sampling focusing on six major tributaries feeding from high-interest areas into the Cacuilo river upstream of current mining blocks where some of the largest and most valuable Lulo alluvial diamonds have been recovered. Planning calls for taking of a 5,000-m3 bulk sample of alluvial gravels from each of the six tributaries.

Also, followup delineation drilling totaling approximately 8,800 meters (m) will be undertaken on the 16 Lulo kimberlite pipes rated most prospective to host diamonds. The drilling will help define the structure, internal lithologies, and surface area of each pipe, including surface volcaniclastic kimberlite material for later bulk sampling.

Finally, eight additional kimberlite targets will be drilled, including anomalies highlighted in the technical review demonstrating reversely polarized magnetic signatures.

The new exploration program is budgeted at $3.3 million. As in the past, Lucapa will fund the exploration costs from a portion of its returns from the Lulo alluvial mining company, Sociedade Mineira Do Lulo.

Lucapa Managing Director Stephen Wetherall said, “The next phase of the kimberlite program builds on the great body of exploration work completed over many years at Lulo to pinpoint the source pipes hosting the world’s best alluvial diamonds.

“Like the diamond experts involved in our recent technical review, we remain convinced that the kimberlite source of these diamonds awaits discovery beneath our prolific alluvial diamond field.”