LUCAPA Diamond Company has realised US$1, 1 million (M16,3 million) net profit after tax for the six months up to 30 June 2019 from its Mothae and Lulo diamond mines in Lesotho and Angola respectively.
The US$1, 1 million represents a huge turnaround for Lucapa who recorded a US$4, 3m loss for the same period in June 2018.
Commenting of the impressive half year results, Lucapa said, the profit “was achieved during a challenging period for many diamond miners globally, particularly those producing primarily lower-value goods”.
“The June half year result has put Lucapa on track for a stronger performance in the second half of 2019 as mining at Mothae transitions to higher-margin diamond zones and the production expansion at Lulo is delivered”.
Lulo in Angola is Lucapa’s flagship mine while Mothae in Lesotho is the company’s newest mine, having only begun commercial production in January 2019.
“The first two tenders of rough Mothae diamonds (5411 carats and 7008 carats) were completed in Antwerp, Belgium during the June half year, generating gross proceeds of US$7, 3 million.
“This represented an average overall price of US$588 per carat for the entire run of mine production or US$729 per carat for diamonds. The highest price per carat achieved for an individual Mothae diamond in the two tenders was US$36,664. Mothae had 3855 carats in inventory at the end of the June half. Three further sales of Mothae diamonds are planned for the second half of 2019,” Lucapa says in its statement.
Lucapa said cash operating costs at Mothae Mine for the first six months improved by 14 percent.
Commenting on Lulo Mine, Lucapa said that “having operated in Angola for a decade, Lucapa and its partners Empresa Nacional de Diamantes (Endiama) and Rosas & Petalas were delighted to be given the opportunity to showcase special diamonds from the Lulo mine in this inaugural international tender, which was organised by Sodiam in Luanda and concluded on 31 January 2019”.
“The seven large, top-quality Lulo diamonds weighing 498 carats offered for sale in the electronic tender achieved total highest bids of US$16, 7 million. Payment for one of the seven diamonds – the 46 carat pink – was not received within the terms of the tender and SML is reviewing cutting and polishing options for this exceptional stone to maximise revenues.
“SML completed a second sale during the June half year taking total sales to US$22, 1m at an exceptional average price per carat of US$3668, further underling Lulo’s status as the world’s highest average price alluvial diamond production.”