Lucara Diamond this week issued an updated resources estimate for its Karowe diamond mine in Botswana. Results revealed that the remaining indicated mineral resource at the mine’s AK06 kimberlite includes 7.9 million carats, thus 57.85 million tons at 13.7 carats per hundred tons. Moreover, indicated resources at the South Lobe increased by 54% to 6.78 million carats, resulting from the conversion of inferred resources into indicated ones.
“This resource update supports the continued recovery of large high-value diamonds from the South Lobe throughout its remaining open pit mine life and the likelihood for underground mining until at least 2036,” said CEO Eira Thomas.
She also indicated that works (studies included) are underway to assess the feasibility and viability of an underground mining at Karowe.The Karowe project is set as a world’s key producer of large and high-value diamonds. Back in November 2015, Lucara recovered the “Lesedi La Rona” gem, the second-largest gem ever recovered sold at $53 million in 2017.
“Going forward, the Karowe mine plan is dominated by South Lobe ore, with the high grade, high value EM/PK (S) unit becoming increasingly prevalent as we mine deeper. We now understand that some of Karowe’s large, high-value diamonds originated from the EM/PK (S) unit including the historic 1109-carat Lesedi La Rona and the 813-carat Constellation, which sold for a record US$63 million.
Feasibility work assessing the potential for underground mining, including hydrogeological and geotechnical drilling together with several mining trade off studies is ongoing.” Thomas stated.
The Karowe Mine has been in commercial production since July 2012. The mine has produced and sold over 2 million carats from 13.9 million tonnes of processed kimberlite at an average sales price of $US 606/carat.
Source: ecofinagency.com, juniorminingnetwork.com