Lucapa’s 70%-owned Mothae kimberlite mine, in Lesotho recorded quarterly production of 9,834 carats in the December 2019 quarter, taking its full year output to 30,107 carats in its first year of production, which was 45% ahead of plan.
The ASX-listed company said the new plant at Mothae regularly operated above its 1.1Mtpa nameplate capacity in its first year of operation.
Lucapa said there is further scope to optimise plant throughput and thus increase carat production in 2020.
“It was particularly pleasing to see our new Mothae mine exceed its first-year production targets by such a healthy margin…,” said Lucapa managing director Stephen Wetherall.
Mothae’s production mix for the quarter included a record 167 diamonds +4.8 carats in weight, including 46 specials and two +100 carat diamonds.
Lucapa said a total of 11,888 carats of Mothae diamonds were sold at tender during the quarter for gross sale proceeds of $7.1 million.
This took total sales concluded in 2019 to $16.5 million at an average price per carat of $575.
Mothae had a diamond inventory of 4,284 carats at the end of the quarter.
Image credit: Lucapa