Lucara sets lower 2024 production guidance, appoints CFO

29th November 2023 By: Creamer Media Reporter

Lucara sets lower 2024 production guidance, appoints CFO

Diamond miner Lucara Diamond Corp, which has appointed Glenn Kondo CFO and corporate secretary, with effect from January 1, expects to mine between 3.6-million and 4.6-million tonnes and recover and sell 345 000 ct to 375 000 ct of diamonds in 2024.

It says the assumptions for carats recovered and sold, as well as the number of ore tonnes processed, are consistent with achieved plant performance in recent years.

The miner, which operates the Karowe mine, in Botswana, earlier this month lowered its production guidance for this year to between 395 000 ct and 405 000 ct, from an initial guidance of 395 000 ct to 425 000 ct.

Lucara points out that a portion of the tonnes mined in 2024 will be stockpiled, prior to the end of openpit mining in mid-2025. Stockpiled material will be processed between 2025 to 2027 before the mine transitions to underground operations.

Ore from the underground development is expected to supplement lower-grade stockpile material, primarily from the upper benches of the South lobe, during the transition to underground, beginning in 2027.

Lucara expects operating cash costs for 2024 to range between $28.50/t and $33.50/t and revenue at between $220-million and $250-million.

The revenue forecast assumes that 87% of the carats recovered will come from the higher-value M/PK(S) and EM/PK(S) units within the South Lobe, while the balance will come from the Centre Lobe in accordance with the mine plan.

Capital costs for the underground expansion, which is aimed at extending the Karowe mine life to at least 2040, are expected to reach $100-million in 2024 and will focus predominantly on shaft sinking activities and station development.

Surface works will focus on completing the construction of the bulk air cooler and installation of the cage winder. Tendering the underground development contract along with underground equipment purchases are also included in the 2024 project plan.

Sustaining capital and project expenditures are expected to amount to $10-million in 2024, with a focus on the replacement and refurbishment of key asset components, in addition to dewatering activities, and an expansion of the tailings storage facility in accordance with Global Industry Standard on Tailings Management.