It’s been a big week for diamonds — both literally and figuratively.
In the past week not only have two diamond miners announced major finds, but news has hit the wire that Sotheby’s will be auctioning off a large diamond. Here’s a look at the three diamonds and what makes them exciting.
Lucapa unearths large stone
At the end of last week, Lucapa Diamond Company (ASX:LOM) revealed that alluvial mining at its Lulo diamond concession in Angola has unearthed an “exceptional” 63.05-carat diamond. Testing shows that it’s a Type IIa diamond, which according to the company is “the rarest category of diamonds in the world.”
The gem is also special in that it’s the third-largest diamond ever recovered at Lulo and the first found since the company started commercial diamond mining at the concession back in January. The other two diamonds, which were found during bulk sampling activities, clocked in at 131.4 and 95.45 carats. It’s also worth noting that those two gems were found south of processing plant at Lulo, while this week’s was found to the north.
Commenting on the news, Stephen Weatherall, Lucapa’s chief executive, said, “[t]his exceptional recovery further underlines the potential of the Lulo diamond field to consistently produce large gems of exceptional quality across the whole mining licence area.” He added, “[g]iven the diamond mining results achieved to date have mirrored our initial estimates derived from our bulk sampling grades, we are confident of recovering more exceptional diamonds from this higher grade area.”
He also reminded investors that the company’s ultimate goal at Lulo, which it’s currently working towards, is to locate the main kimberlite source or sources from priority kimberlite targets that have been identified.
Lucara follows suit
Not to be confused with Lucapa, Lucara Diamond (TSX:LUC) is a diamond producer with two key assets: the Karowe mine in Botswana and the Lesotho-based Mothae project. Lucara wholly owns the former, which was fully commissioned in 2012′s second quarter, and has a 75-percent interest in the latter, though it’s currently on care and maintenance.
The company kicked off the week on a high note, announcing Monday afternoon that it’s recovered a 341.9-carat, Type IIa diamond from Karowe. According to a press release, the stone was found during the “processing of fragmental kimberlite from the central and south lobe interface.” Lucara also said it recently recovered a 7.8-carat diamond during tracer testing of new XRT diamond recovery machines.
Speaking positively about the two finds, William Lamb, CEO of Lucara, commented, “[t]he recovery of this magnificent stone once again confirms the quality of diamonds contained within the Karowe resource. Timing of the sale of these exceptional stones is still to be decided.”
He also pointed to the value of the XRT machines, noting, “[t]he surprise recovery of the 7.8 carat diamond from the very small quantity of material processed during commissioning of the XRT machines demonstrates the excellent recovery capability of this exciting technology.” The XRT machines are expected to be integrated into the main treatment plant at Karowe before the end of the month.
The diamonds recovered by Lucapa and Lucara likely won’t be hitting the market any time soon, but for investors looking to pick up a big diamond right away, there’s always Sotheby’s. The auction house will be holding a Magnificent Jewels sale on April 21, 2015 at 10:00 a.m. EST, and included in the sale is what’s being called “the ultimate 100-carat emerald-cut diamond.”
The gem is expected to sell for up to $25 million, according to CNN, and Lisa Hubbard, chairman of North and South America for Sotheby’s International Jewellery Division, is quoted as saying that, “[s]imply put, it has everything you could ever want from a diamond: the classic shape begs to be worn, while the quality puts it in an asset class of its own.”
It will certainly be interesting to see if the diamond ends up selling for the anticipated price.(Resources Investing News)