The second rough diamond tender this year held by the Lucapa Diamond Company, which is listed on the Australian Securities Exchange (ASX), garnered $3.5 million.
The company said 7,008 carats of rough from the Mothae kimberlite mine in Lesotho were offered at the tender in Antwerp. Individual gems fetched prices as high as $26,000 per carat.
Lucapa has realised an aggregate $7.3 million from its two Mothae rough diamond tenders. A third tender before the end of June is being considered, given the consistent recoveries from the mine, including the 126-carat gem quality diamond recovered earlier this month.
Lucapa Managing Director Stephen Wetherall commented that the company was encouraged by the good sales results from the mine’s so-called lower-margin area along with the consistent recovery of special stones. He added that the company looked forward to transitioning operations to the higher-margin zone in mine’s southern pit over the second half of this year.
The southern pit is currently flooded with water and Lucapa expects a higher throughput once the water is transferred to the mine’s main dam. Rough from the current lower-margin mining zone averages $588 per carat for the run-of-mine and $729 for the +11 sieve size.
Mothae is a joint venture between Lucapa and the Government of Lesotho, with the former holding a 70 percent stake.