VANCOUVER (miningweekly.com) – Botswana-focused diamond producer Lucara Diamond Corp has swung to a third-quarter net loss, mainly as a function of the timing of diamond tenders in the September quarter.
The Vancouver-headquartered company reported a net loss of $3.8-million, or $0.01 a share, down from a profit of $44.2-million, or $0.12 a share, in the comparable period a year earlier.
Revenue for the period was $38.1-million, or $332/ct, as opposed to $90.9-million a year earlier.
The company explained that the poor performance was owing to it having had two sales in the prior-year period, including an exceptional stone tender, compared with only a single sale in the current year. Lucara expected to conduct a second exceptional stone tender for the year in the fourth quarter, as well as a further regular diamond tender in December.
Lucara also noted a foreign exchange loss in the third quarter as the Botswana Pula has appreciated in the current year.
The company continues to forecast revenue of between $200-million and $220-million for the year ending December 31, excluding the sale of the 813 ct Constellation diamond, which sold for $63.1-million. The company also continues to hold the 1 109 ct Lesedi La Rona diamond in inventory as at September 30, and is currently considering options for its sale.
During the quarter, Lucara paid $136.6-million in dividends comprising a special dividend of C$0.45 a share and its regular quarterly dividend of C$0.015 a share on September 15.
Following the payment of this special dividend, the company has paid $185-million in dividends back to its shareholders, equivalent to about 20% of total revenues generated, since it first implemented its dividend policy in 2014.
These payments now exceed the total amount of shareholder equity ever raised by the company, president and CEO William Lamb noted Tuesday.
Also on Tuesday, Lucara declared its fourth-quarter dividend of C$0.015 a share.