Lucapa Recovering Diamonds at the Mothae Mine in Lesotho
Shortly after startup, the plant recovered a 78-carat white diamond. The plant will be progressively ramped up to its designed 1.1-million-metric-tonper- year (mt/y) throughput capacity following implementation of a second plant operating shift.
The Mothae mine is owned 70% by Lucapa and 30% by the government of Lesotho. Mining is based on a well-defined kimberlite pipe with a surface area of about 8.8 ha and a JORC-classified diamond resource of more than 1 million carats to a depth of 300 m at an average modeled diamond value of $1,063/carat.
Lucapa Managing Director Stephen Wetherall said start of commercial recoveries through the Mothae plant represented a key milestone in Lucapa’s strategic development plan. “Lucapa is on track to become one of a few listed diamond companies globally with production from more than one operating mine,” he said. “The high-quality nature of our production from the Lulo mine in Angola and from Mothae will also enable the group to further its value-enhancing downstream strategy through partnerships with global diamantaires, where discussions are well advanced.”
Production from Mothae will complement production from the Lulo mine in Angola (Lucapa 40% owner and operator), which produces the world’s highest average $/carat alluvial diamonds. Lucapa operates the Lulo concession in partnership with Angola’s national diamond company, Empresa Nacional de Diamantes E.P. (Endiama), and private partner Rosas & Petalas.