Lucapa Recovering Diamonds at the Mothae Mine in Lesotho

Lucapa’s Mothae mine uses advanced diamond recovery equipment to safely capture
large stones.
Lucapa Diamond Co. has recovered the first diamonds from the new commercial treatment plant at the Mothae mine in Lesotho. The plant incorporates advanced diamond recovery technology, including two X-ray transmission diamond recovery modules designed to recover large and rare Type IIa diamonds ahead of the secondary crushing circuit. The system will reduce potential diamond breakage and improve the recovery of unbroken large stones.

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.

As featured in Womp 2019 Vol 01 -