Diamond resources at Lucapa Diamond Company’s Lulo alluvial mine in Angola are 25% higher than it originally estimated, according to an independent valuation.
Lulo has 100,700 carats remaining in the mine, a December 2019 study by external consulting company Z Star Mineral Resource Consultants has found. That figure was reevaluated from a previous Lulo resource estimation conducted in December 2018, which listed the mine’s total contents at 80,400 carats, Lucapa said Monday.
The new figure is more than five times the total output of 19,000 carats Lulo produced in 2019, the miner noted.
Z Star has also updated the average price for Lulo rough to $1,620 per carat, a 14% improvement versus the previous estimate of $1,420 per carat. Over the last five years of operation, Lulo diamonds have sold at an average price of $1,900 per carat.
“Together with the positive diamond-marketing reforms introduced in Angola in 2019, the latest increase in both in-situ carats and average…price supports the investment made by the Lulo partners to expand diamond production and cash generation from 2020,” said Lucapa CEO Stephen Wetherall. “The latest update also represents the highest number of carats ever in a Lulo diamond resource — and that is after five years of increasing alluvial-mining depletion.”
Lucapa is also carrying out exploration and testing on further alluvial sites along the Cacuilo River valley, which will add to its total resources, it added.
Image: Rough diamonds from the Lulo mine. (Lucapa Diamond Company)