Lucapa Diamond Company (ASX:LOM) has made a substantial discovery at the Mothae kimberlite mine in Lesotho.
The Australia-based miner announced the recovery of a 25-carat gem-quality yellow diamond at the mine on Tuesday (May 22) after recovering the first gems from the asset in February.
The company gained a 70-percent interest in Mothae in January 2017 following an international tender process. The remaining 30 percent is owned by the government of the Kingdom of Lesotho.
The 25-carat diamond just recovered was found during the first two days of trial processing through the bulk sampling plant. According to the company, it came from the neck zone, which is not part of Mothae’s currently JORC resource of over 1 million carats.
The first stones recovered at Mothae included a 6.6-carat white diamond that was found during the first test run at the mine.
Mothae is located in what many consider to be the heart of the world’s highest-value cluster of kimberlite mines. These mines include Letseng, located within 5 kilometers of Mothae; it is the world’s highest-valued kimberlite diamond mine per carat.
Large discoveries are nothing new for the South African nation. Some of Lesotho’s largest gem recoveries include: the 603-carat Lesotho Promise, the 601-carat Lesotho Brown, the 550-carat Letseng Star, the 478-carat Light of Letseng and the 493-carat Letseng Legacy.
In January, Gem Diamonds (LSE:GEMD) made a monumental discovery at its Letseng mine when it recovered a spectacular 910-carat diamond, dubbed the Lesotho Legend. It is believed to be the fifth-largest gem in history and sold for US$40 million in March.
Moving forward, Lucapa plans to begin processing three 50,000-tonne bulk samples of kimberlite material from the neck north and southeast zones at Mothae. The company plans to start production at the site during the second half of 2018.
Lucapa’s share price started strong on Tuesday, but then took a tumble to close at AU$0.29.
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Securities Disclosure: I, Georgia Williams, hold no direct investment interest in any company mentioned in this article.