A high-value section of the Karowe mine contains a larger supply of diamonds than originally thought, Lucara Diamond Corp. said.
A feasibility study at the Botswana-based asset shows a 54% increase in indicated resources in the EM/PK (S) portion of its south lobe region, from which Lucara previously recovered the 1,109-carat Lesedi La Rona and the 813-carat Constellation.
“In 2019 we will be evaluating various mining scenarios that have the potential to access this valuable ore [in EM/PK (S)] as early as possible in the underground mining schedule,” said CEO Eira Thomas.
To reach those stones, Lucara needs to transition from open-pit to underground mining. The company has been in talks with the government of Botswana to extend the terms of its mining agreement to include underground operations, it said.
So far, Lucara has spent $23 million of the $29 million budget it set up last year for feasibility testing. Its board of directors has approved an additional $14.8 million budget to finish the remaining portion of the study, which the miner expects to complete in the second half of the year.
Image: The Karowe mine. (Lucara)