ASX-listed Lucapa Diamond Company achieved a solid performance in the fourth quarter, ended December 31, MD Stephen Wetherall says in the company’s quarterly activities report for the period.
Lucapa has interests in two producing diamond mines – Lulo in Angola, and Mothae in Lesotho – in addition to an exploration project in Australia.
“We achieved several new operational records, very positive exploration results, record capital returns from Angola and continued to focus on strengthening our balance sheet in the current financial environment.
“Most significantly, the Lulo primary source kimberlite exploration activities delivered their best results. We have tangible evidence that the Lulo kimberlite province hosts primary sources containing special-sized diamonds and our methodical approach is now delivering the results that we have been working towards for many years,” he outlines.
Wetherall says the company’s teams are also confident of resolving the constraints at Mothae and the soon-to-be-run trial will determine which strategic solution is best to return value from its investment in Lesotho.
“We look forward to 2023 with more bulk sample results at Lulo and delivering the Merlin feasibility study as we work towards building our third diamond mine and our first in Australia,” he highlights.
QUARTERLY MINING OPERATIONS
Total rough diamond revenues for the fourth quarter were A$62.4-million, taking full-year revenue to a record A$149-million.
At Lulo, record volumes were processed, resulting in the recovery of four diamonds weighing more than 100 ct and several fancy coloured diamonds. A$30.1-million was realised for the Lulo exceptional diamond tender.
At Mothae, a new GM was appointed and the Mothae plant optimisation modelling was completed, with trial operations scheduled to start shortly.
Lucapa also advanced the Merlin feasibility study and renewed the mining lease for 25 years to 2047.
Further, Lucapa strengthened its balance sheet by reducing interest-bearing debt to A$9.4-million, a reduction of A$17.9-million in 2022.