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Lucara Invests to Improve Small Diamond Recovery

Aug 24, 2016 4:04 AM   By Rapaport News
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RAPAPORT...  Lucara Diamond Corp. will increase the use of X-ray technology (XRT) to target smaller size diamonds, after using the equipment to successfully recover exceptional stones such as the 1,109-carat Lesedi La Rona.

The company will introduce four new XRT diamond-recovery units at its Karowe mine in Botswana, focusing on diamonds ranging from 4 millimeters to 8 millimeters. The technology will help process the “very dense, high-quality” ore from the mine’s south lobe, Lucara said. The project is expected to be completed in the fourth quarter of next year at an estimated cost of up to $30 million.

Lucara’s discovery of the Lesedi La Rona last November, as well as other exceptionally large stones, was aided by ‘large diamond recovery’ XRT machines that cost $55 million. The investment has already paid for itself as it enabled the discovery of the Lesedi La Rona, which is still unsold, and the 813-carat ‘Constellation,’ which fetched $63.1 million in May.

The latest move maximizes Lucara’s processing efficiency and will contribute to “strong” operating margins for diamonds from the south lobe, said William Lamb, the miner’s president and chief executive officer (pictured). The new sorters will also improve production rates, Lamb added.
Tags: Botswana, Karowe, Lesedi La Rona, lucara, Lucara Diamond Corp, mining, Rapaport News, X-ray technology, XRT
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