Lucara Diamond Corp’s rough sales fell in the first quarter as the miner shifted production to lower-grade stockpiles and recovered fewer large diamonds.
Revenue slumped 48% to $26.1 million with the average selling price down 38% to $405 per carat, the company said Tuesday. The miner reported a net loss of $1.5 million, having turned a profit of $17.1 million a year earlier.
The revenue decline resulted from the lower volume of carats sold, the miner explained. The company processed lower-grade ore from its stockpiles at the Karowe project in Botswana during the quarter, a period in which it changed contractors working at the mine. In particular, sales of “special” diamonds above 10.8 carats fell to 2,379 carats from 6,936 carats in the first quarter of 2016, when the company benefited from a period of above-average recovery of such diamonds.
Lucara continued to forecast revenue between $200 million and $220 million for 2017, excluding the potential sale of the 1,109-carat Lesedi La Rona rough diamond.