PERTH (miningweekly.com) – Diamond miner Lucapa Diamond Company has secured a R100-million development facility from the Industrial Development Corporation of South Africa (IDC) for its Mothae kimberlite diamond mine, in Lesotho.
The facility will span a four-year period, and will include a 12-month moratorium on capital repayments. Interest on the facility will be calculated at the Johannesburg interbank average rate plus 8.6%, which currently equates to a rate of 15.6% a year, said Lucapa.
The company told shareholders on Thursday that the IDC facility would considerably strengthen Mothae’s cash position, which, subject to the IDC loan covenants being met, would also enable the repayment of shareholder loans from Mothae to Lucapa.
Lucapa last week announced that commissioning of the 1.1-million-tonne-a-year treatment plant at Mothae has started, with first commercial diamond recoveries at the mine expected in early November.
More than 4 100 ct of diamonds have been recovered from the bulk sampling of areas within the Mothae kimberlite pipe, while some 23 400 ct of diamonds were also recovered during the trial mining phase.