Lucapa Diamond, which received $5.6 million from its 40%-owned Sociedade Mineira Do Lulo (SML)’s 2017 earnings, has defended its decision to repatriate $2.1 million to Australia and allocated $3.5 million to kimberlite exploration, in Angola.
The company’s 6000 shareholders were reportedly not happy with this funding arrangement.
Others were of the view that Lucapa sticks to its two high-value diamond mines and reconsider the kimberlite exploration.
However, Lucapa chairperson Miles Kennedy said he was firmly of the belief that the company should continue its kimberlite exploration for the duration of the licence it had been granted.
“Indeed, some shareholders are of the view that despite spending many years and many millions of dollars on our kimberlite exploration programme, we are no closer to finding the mother lode at Lulo,” he said.
“…while kimberlite exploration can by nature be painstakingly slow, I am equally of the view that we are closer than ever to finding the mother lode at Lulo.”
He also said it was important for Lucapa to continue with the kimberlite exploration as it had confirmed the existence of more than 70 kimberlites in its 2018 drilling programme alone.
The company was also aware that kimberlites at Lulo are diamond-bearing and had already identified several diamondiferous kimberlites.
“There are no silver bullets in the kimberlite exploration game either. But the patient and methodical approach adopted by our exploration team is narrowing down and confining the search areas of our quest,” said Kennedy.
“It may take us another couple of years, but I am more confident than ever that we can indeed find the diamond source at Lulo… We can certainly look at funding alternatives for this program, but now is not the time to deviate from that path or to give up.”