PERTH (miningweekly.com) – Diamond miner Lucapa Diamond Company has completed the A$8.5-million acquisition of the Merlin diamond project, in the Northern Territory.
ASX-listed Lucapa noted that its subsidiary Australian Natural Diamonds had settled the purchase price owing to the liquidators of Merlin Diamonds.
Lucapa in May this year announced the acquisition the Merlin project and raised A$23-million to fund both the acquisition and development of the project.
The project is estimated has a resource estimate of 4.4-million carats, with 2.3-million of these classified as indicated. Of the 11 known kimberlites, eight of the kimberlite pipes were mined by Ashton Diamonds and Rio Tinto between 1999 and 2003, producing over 500 000 ct from 2.2-million tonnes of kimberlite treated, including the largest diamond ever recovered in Australia, a 104 ct Type IIa white diamond.
Once in production, the Merlin project would be Lucapa’s third producing asset and Australia’s largest diamond mine.
The c ompany is now finalising a scoping study to demonstrate the economics of the planned development and the potential for the Merlin mine to be a long-life diamond producer.