Lucara Diamond’s Karowe diamond mine in Botswana. Credit: Lucara Diamond
The Northern Miner presents the top 10 Canadian-headquartered diamond companies ranked by market capitalization as of mid-June.
Lucara Diamond’s (TSX: LUC) key asset is the wholly owned Karowe mine in Botswana, which has been in production since 2012 and generated 433,060 carats last year. Since Karowe’s 2012 startup, Lucara has become recognized as a consistent producer of large, gem-quality diamonds.
The open pit operation lies in the north-central part of the country and extracts ore from the AK6 Kimberlite, which is part of the Orapa Kimberlite Field (OKF). There are three pipes at AK6, with mineral reserves of 25.4 million tonnes, containing 2.96 million carats in the mine plan. The current open-pit plan extends out to 2026, with the potential to extract additional resources at depth by developing an underground mine at Karowe.
Last year, Lucara released a feasibility study for the underground development, which outlines a 13-year operation, maintaining the current 7,200-tonne per day production rate. With a pre-production capital cost of US$514 million, the after-tax net present value estimate for the project, at an 8% discount rate, came in at US$536 million. Detailed engineering and design work are now underway for this development.
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