Lucapa Diamond Company has secured $14.2 million (AUD 19 million) in funding to acquire and develop the high-value Mothae mine in Lesotho, the company said Friday.
The package puts Lucapa on track to start commissioning Mothae in the first quarter of next year, it said. Trial mining produced more than 23,000 carats of rough diamonds, including stones of up to 254 carats, with individual diamonds selling for as much as $41,500 per carat, the miner reported.
Lucapa signed an agreement in January to acquire a 70% stake in Mothae for $9 million; the Lesotho government retains the rest. Lucara Diamond Corporation originally owned the mine, but offloaded it in 2015. Lucapa also owns the Lulo mine in Angola, another high-value asset, which last year yielded rough with an average price of $2,983 per carat.