Lucapa Diamond Company’s sales fell 38% in 2017, after the previous year’s figures received a boost from the sale of a huge rough stone.
Proceeds from diamonds the company extracted at its Lulo mine in Lesotho declined to $31.6 million last year, the miner reported Monday. While the 2016 total of $51 million included $16 million from a 404-carat rough, last year’s sales dropped even discounting that amount. The overall average price slid 44% to $1,669 per carat.
Production declined 6% to 18,706 carats, with the company recovering 238 special-size stones — those above 10.8 carats — compared with 269 the previous year. Out of six diamonds above 50 carats that it found during 2017, the largest two were type-IIa, D-color diamonds weighing 129 carats and 78 carats.
The company plans to sell those two stones in early 2018, hoping to maximize proceeds due to the stronger demand during that period as manufacturers look to replenish their stocks.
Aside from Lulo, Lucapa intends to start commercial production at its Mothae mine in Lesotho in the second half of 2018, and is carrying out exploration at the Brooking lamproite project in Western Australia.