Lucapa Diamond Company found yet another large diamond, weighing 68.1 carats, at its Lulo mine in Angola, providing further evidence the site is at the “heart of a large diamond province.”
The type-IIa, D-color gem is one of eight “special” diamonds found during trial mining of gravels from the E46 alluvial terraces. The weight of other precious stones found alongside the big diamond ranged from 11.5 carats to 30.5 carats, according to a statement by the Australia-based miner March 29.
“The recovery of special diamonds from the E46 alluvial terraces is significant considering the largest individual diamond recovered from the initial exploration bulk sampling phase conducted in this area in 2013 weighed just 6.9 carats,” the company said.
The recovery is the latest in a line of large gem discoveries in recent months, with Lucapa unveiling the largest diamond in Angolan history in February, a 404.2-carat stone from Lulo which it sold for $16 million (AUD 22.5 million). In January it unveiled a 133.4-carat, relatively low-quality diamond from the mine.
Technological developments have enabled rough producers to identify and recover large diamonds that might otherwise have gone through crushers. Lucara Diamond Corp’s investment in XRT machines for large diamond recovery enabled it to recover a 1,111-carat gem in November, the second largest rough diamond ever found, at the Karowe mine in Botswana, as site known for its exceptional diamonds.
Gem Diamonds’ Letšeng mine in the southern African country of Lesotho, also recognized for its large gems, produced 357-carat and 314-carat diamonds last year.