TSX-listed Lucara Diamond Corporation CEO Eira Thomas says the business environment for diamonds and diamond jewellery is the healthiest she has seen in several years, spurred on by global supply improvements and fundamentals.
This trend is set to continue in years to come.
In 2022, which will be Lucara’s tenth year of operations at the Karowe mine, in Botswana, the company expects to produce 340 000 ct of diamonds and sell about $185-million to $215-million worth of diamonds – not including the estimated contributions from exceptional, large diamonds – through its multi-sales channel approach.
The company says the Karowe expansion plans will extend the mine life to at least 2040 and remain on time and within budget.
Capital costs for the underground expansion are expected to reach $110-million in 2022 and will focus on the start of shaft sinking activities, the commissioning of power and detailed engineering for underground development.
Sustaining capital and project expenditures are expected to be up to $17-million, with a focus on completion of a community sports facility, dewatering activities and an expansion of the tailings storage facility.
Meanwhile, Lucara's 100%-owned proprietary, secure, Web-based digital sales platform Clara continues to grow in terms of volumes transacted and customer participation.
The number of buyers on the platform as of the third quarter of this year was 87 and the company continues to maintain an active waiting list to manage supply and demand.
Platform trials and discussions with third-party suppliers of rough diamonds are ongoing to build supply, which remains a key objective for 2022 and beyond.
The rationale for a Web-based digital sales platform for the sale of rough diamonds has never been stronger, sparked by the industry's need for increased transparency, global restrictions on travel and a new openness to the use of innovation and technology to create a more efficient supply chain.