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Lucara Diamond Corp. Seeks To Build Digital Rough Diamond Spot Market

Catherine McLeod-Seltzer (left) and Eira Thomas

Lucara Diamond Corporation, which recently announced that William Lamb, its CEO of 10 years, was stepping down and handing over to Eira Thomas, one of the firm’s founders and directors, is looking at doing away with the traditional sales cycles that even miners like De Beers and ALROSA use, to create a spot market.

This ambitious plan is fuelled buy Lucara’s acquisition of Clara Diamond Solutions, a digital platform that also enables blockchain technology and thus provides traceability for all the diamonds sold on it. Lucara intends Clara Diamond Solutions to create a spot market, beginning with rough extracted at its own Karowe diamond mine in Botswana. Lucara is also looking at extending the use of the platform to other miners in the future.

“Testing on the platform has demonstrated the potential to unlock greater than 20 percent of value throughout the diamond pipeline to the benefit of all participants,” the company said in an announcement.

Lucara acquired Clara in an all-stock deal for the equivalent of $29 million. Clara’s founders and management will retain a 13.33 percent and 6.67 percent share of the pre-tax earnings respectively up to a maximum of $25 million a year for 10 years.

Eira Thomas was a shareholder of Clara and received 1.19 million Lucara shares for her Clara stock. She stands to receive another 1.79 million Lucara shares based on her performance as CEO. A geologist, she worked at the Aber Diamond Corporation, now Dominion Diamond, for 16 years, rising to become Vice President of Exploration and a company director.

Thomas was co-founder of Stornoway Diamond Corporation and served first as its CEO and later as its Chairperson. In that role, she led the acquisition ion of the Renard diamond deposit, which subsequently become Quebec’s first diamond mine. She founded Lucara in 2007 with partners Catherine McLeod-Seltzer and Lukas Lundin, who is now the Chairman.  McLeod-Seltzer will now also join the Lucara board.

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