JOHANNESBURG (miningweekly.com) – Lucara Diamond Corp has completed the Mega Diamond Recovery (MDR) and sub-middles XRT capital projects at its Karowe mine, in Botswana, ahead of schedule.
The MDR circuit treats material in the size range between 50 mm and 120 mm and is located directly post the primary crusher and ahead of the process plant. This maximises the upfront recovery of exceptional diamonds prior to the comminution processes where diamond damage may occur.
The sub-middles XRT circuit processes material in the size range between 4 mm and 8 mm. The sub-middles circuit has replaced the need for a dense medium circuit and five diamond recovery unit processes for treating diamonds within this size fraction.
“The commissioning of the MDR and sub-middles XRT circuits advances the company's ability to efficiently recover its diamonds and maximise value for its exceptional diamonds.
“The completion of these two capital projects concludes our major capital expenditures for upgrading the process facilities, all of which have been funded from internal cash flows,” commented Lucara president and CEO William Lamb.
Lucara, which is listed on the TSX and Botswana Stock Exchange, in August lowered the full-year production guidance for the Karowe mine to between 265 000 ct and 285 000 ct, compared with the previously planned 290 000 ct to 310 000 ct, as a result of lower mined ore volumes in the second quarter of the year.
The company is also considering the potential of developing an underground mine at Karowe and expects a preliminary economic assessment to be completed in the fourth quarter of this year.