Lucapa Diamond is projecting output at its 40%-owned Lulo mine, in Angola to improve in the second half of the year following the move to flood plain blocks which are expected to produce average grades much higher than those achieved during the first half.
Lulo’s first half production totalled 7,236 carats and included 216 +4.8 carat stones.
Lucapa said in a presentation delivered last week at Africa Down Under Conference that it is targeting an annualised increase to 30 000 carats in 2020.
Production volumes will be boosted by the arrival of a new fleet of Volvo and Caterpillar earthmoving equipment, comprising six excavators, eight trucks and three bulldozers.
The new fleet, it said, is part of the Sociedade Mineira Do Lulo (SML)-funded $12 million expansion of alluvial mining operations.
SML held a 3,147 carat diamond inventory at the end of the June half, which included the 46 carat pink held over from sale earlier in the year.