Lucapa Diamond Company is coming closer to finding the kimberlite source of its high-quality alluvial diamonds. it said Wednesday.
The miner will drill seven new kimberlites located just upstream of the high-value portion of its Lulo mine in Angola, after “highly encouraging” initial exploration results. Lucapa has already recovered 45 diamonds weighing a total of 30.3 carats from sampling, including eight larger than one carat, three over two carats, and a 3.75-carat rough. Seven of those diamonds were “top” D color, it noted.
Lucapa conducted the exploration and bulk sampling at the Canguige tributary. The stream drains into the Cacuilo River valley, 3 kilometers upstream of the company’s Mining Block 46 deposit, which has produced multiple large, high-value type IIa diamonds, as well as fancy pinks and yellows. The miner has garnered an average price of $1,900 per carat for rough stones from that site.
“Across the history of diamond exploration, the recovery of diamonds and kimberlite indicator minerals from streams have been valuable pointers for the search of kimberlite pipes shedding those diamonds,” said Lucapa CEO Stephen Wetherall. “We are excited about the diamond recoveries from the Canguige stream bulk sampling and look forward to advancing the next phase of our kimberlite search.”
Lucapa believes a “mother lode” source of the diamonds in its alluvial fields is located somewhere within the Lulo site, it said in May. The fact that these new kimberlites are located just upstream of the high-value portion of the mine is promising, Wetherall noted.
“We remain confident that the primary sources of the alluvial diamonds being recovered at Lulo await discovery and that our exploration efforts will be justified,” he added.
The company’s stock rose 9% in early trading Wednesday following the announcement.
Image: The Lulo mine. (Lucapa Diamond Company)