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XRT circuit technology enhances Lucara’s mining

Publishing Date : 10 June, 2019

Author : DAVE BAAITSE

Lucara Diamond Corp, the Canadian company which owns Karowe Mine is a mining company with a mining and exploration licenses in Botswana has attributed its recent success to the introduction of XRT circuit technology in 2015.  


When briefing the media this week Lucara Botswana, Managing Director Naseem Lahri said since commissioning of the XRT circuit in 2015, a total of 12 diamonds in excess of 300 carats have been recovered at Karowe, including 2 greater than 1, 000 carats, from a total production of approximately 1. 4 million carats. Of the 12 +300 carat diamonds recovered, 50 percent were categorised as gem quality with 11 sold to date generating revenue in excess of US$158 million.


The mine is one of the world’s foremost producers of large, high quality, Type IIA diamonds in excess of 10. 8 carats according to their website. “We are the only mine in the world to recover two stones in excess of 1 000 carats. These are the largest stones in the world to be recovered through a processing plant. They have been recovered in Botswana. The largest was the Lesedi La Rona. We have broken our own record within the last 4 years,” said Lahri.


The reason for the media briefing was to announce the naming competition of the recent recovery of the 1 758 carats. According to Lahri this is one of the largest diamonds in recorded history, the largest diamond recovered in Botswana, and the largest diamond to be mined at Karowe to date.  The unbroken 1,758 carat stone was recovered through Lucara's state of the art XRT circuit, commissioned in April 2015.


Weighing close to 352 grams and measuring 83 mm x 62 mm x 46 mm, the diamond has been characterized as near gem of variable quality, including domains of high-quality white gem. Further detailed analysis is ongoing. Lahri said the winner will receive; a P 30 000 cash prize, a trip to Karowe Mine to see and appreciate where the gem stones come from;  as well as an invitation for 4 to a gala dinner to hand over the price money. This will allow the winner to invite close family Competition runs from the 5th June – 14th June.


The Managing Director also said as they mine and recover these diamonds they ensure that they mine safely and responsibly. “Lucara Botswana has achieved a two year LTI Free record. On the morning of the 18th May 2019 Karowe mine achieved two years LTI free. This is a great achieve for all Lucara employees and contractors.


These milestones lead us to the current achievement two years LTI free. The last LTI was on the 17th May 2017 which involved a fitter at XRT sustained an injury on his right thumb while adjusting the pump vee belts. This milestone was achieved through the management drive on safety and several safety initiatives that were put in place”, said Lahri.    


The Karowe diamond mine, located in Botswana, is a state-of-the-art mine which was fully commissioned in Q2 2012.  Karowe, which means precious stone in the local language, is one of world’s foremost producers of large, high quality, Type IIA diamonds in excess of 10. 8 carats, including the historic 1,109 carat Lesedi La Rona (second largest gem diamond ever recovered) and the 813 carat Constellation (sold for a record US$63.1 million).


Since 2014, Lucara has paid out more than US$249 million (about P2.7 billion) in dividends, which well exceeds the total capital invested to build the mine. The Company has an experienced board and management team and operates transparently, in accordance with international best practices in the areas of sustainability, health, safety, environment and community relations. Lucara is a member of the Lundin Group of Companies and is listed on the TSX, Nasdaq Stockholm and the Botswana Stock Exchange under the symbol "LUC".

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