Lucapa Diamond Company has put its Mothae mine in Lesotho on care and maintenance until the global market recovers.
The miner temporarily closed the asset last month after the government placed the country on lockdown. Lesotho is also dependent on neighboring South Africa — which is also on lockdown — for its essential mining supplies. While the initial closure was only supposed to last 21 days, putting the site on care and maintenance will extend the shutdown indefinitely, with only minimal staff employed to keep the operation running at a basic level.
Meanwhile, management at the company’s Lulo mine in Angola is working with authorities in an effort to recommence normal mining activities at the site prior to the upcoming dry season. During that time, Lucapa intends to ramp up its exploration program at the Canguige tributary, a portion of its site located upstream of Mining Block 46, which has produced multiple large, high-value diamonds. The company believes the tributary could be the main source of the alluvial diamonds found at Lulo.
The company is also working with Endiama, Angola’s state diamond-mining company, which is exploring viable funding solutions to create liquidity for producers in Angola, it said.
Additionally, Lucapa has made a “significant” reduction in overhead at its corporate office in Perth, Australia, including staff and contractors taking a voluntary 60% reduction in salary.
Image: The Lulo mine. (Lucapa Diamond Company)