Canadian diamond producer Lucara Diamond’s capital expenditure for 2017 is forecast at between $33-million and $35-million, and will largely fund the completion of its mega diamond recovery (MDR) and X-ray transmission (XRT) projects at the Karowe mine, in Botswana.
Started in 2016, the project at the diamond mine in the Orapa region and a further project at the Letlhakane kimberlite district in north-central Botswana are scheduled for completion this year. The projects are also expected to be within budget at between $15-million and $18-million and up to $30-million respectively, Lucara noted in its results for the first quarter ending March.
In August 2016, Mining Weekly reported that the company would install four more XRT diamond recovery units at Karowe to process finer-size fractions, targeting the recovery of diamonds between 4 mm and 8 mm.
“Lucara continues to lead the way in the adoption of new technology to streamline the diamond recovery process, with the XRT technology being a proven success for diamond recovery at the company’s Karowe mine.
“The extension of the XRT technology to recover the majority of our diamonds at Karowe [improves] our overall processing efficiency and will contribute to continued strong operating margins across the entire value range for our high-quality south lobe diamonds,” said president and CEO William Lamb at the time.The
XRT project’s civil work has also been competed, while construction progressed during the quarter under review.
The project is on schedule for completion in the third quarter, says Lucara.
Meanwhile, the MDR project is on schedule and forecast to be completed during the third quarter of this year, with commissioning and ramp-up in the same quarter. The related civil work has been completed and construction progressed during the first quarter of this year.