While the diamond industry is struggling to keep up revenues in what has been described as tight conditions in recent years, one miner is doing very well indeed: Lucapa Diamond, 40% owner and full operator of the Lulo Diamond project in Angola, has been unearthing colored diamonds in record-rate these past few months.
The Lulo Diamond Project, a 3,000km2 concession in Angola’s Lunda Norte diamond heartland, is located 630km east of the Angolan capital of Luanda. Lucapa has been conducting alluvial and kimberlite exploration activities at Lulo since 2008, and has been mining alluvial diamonds since January 2015.
This week, the Australian mining company announced the unearthing of a massive pink diamond weighing 38.6-carat from Lulo – the largest fancy pink diamond recovered ever from the mine. The previous record was held by a 28.5-carat pink diamond, which was sold earlier in September as part of a parcel of other rocks from Lulo for a total of $4.4 million. This parcel from Lulo, totaling 3,642 carats, raked in an impressive average price of $1,212 per carat.
In July, the company recovered 59 special diamonds (greater than 10.8 carats each), which is six more diamonds than it recovered in the entire previous half yea.
And maybe, most impressive of all, in February Lucapa recovered a record-breaking 404 carat diamond from the same prolific mine – the largest recorded diamond found in Angola. The 404.2 carat Type IIa D-color diamond was recovered from alluvial Mining Block 8, which has already produced more than 60 large special diamonds since mining began in Mining Block 8 in August 2015. The previous largest diamond recovered at Lulo weighed 133.4 carats.
So the operators of Lulo are optimistic, and for good reason. This May, the company announced that it will invest $7 million to upgrade of the mine, in the hope that it will continue to produce record-breaking color diamonds.