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Lucara's Revenue -10%, Profit +18% in 1Q

May 12, 2015 5:44 PM   By Jeff Miller
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RAPAPORT... Lucara Diamond Corp. reported that its revenue fell 9.8 percent year on year to $29.6 million in the first quarter that ended on March 31. The average price for rough diamonds  sold during the period fell 9.2 percent to $277 per carat. Nonetheless, Lucara's profit jumped 17.6 percent to $6 million, cash on hand surged 54 percent to $87.5 million and the company's Scotiabank line of credit for $50 million remains undrawn.

At the Karowe mine in Botswana, production declined 18.9 percent to 90,077 carats, which was 7 percent below the company's forecast,  due to lower liberation when processing the harder fragmental kimberlite. This issue is expected to be corrected in the second part of 2015 as part of Lucara's plant optimization project through the commissioning of a tertiary crusher. There were, however, 153 special stones  greater than 10.80-carats in size recovered during the quarter, with the average size totaling  27.70 carats.

Looking ahead, Lucara expects to sell between 400,000 and 420,000 carats from Karowe this year, maintaining a revenue forecast of between $230 million and $240 million.

William Lamb, the president and CEO of Lucara, said, "We are very pleased with the level of progress of the plant optimization project and the current stage of commissioning. We are excited about the new XRT technology, which has shown exceptional recovery in our testing to date. The recovery of a 342-carat diamond continues to show the quality of the resource and the mine's revenue-generating capability. With the final integration of the XRT machines into the process plant, we look forward to being able to sustainably access the south lobe and continue with our record of exceptional diamond recoveries."

Tags: diamonds, Jeff Miller, Karowe, Lucara Diamond, Production
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