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Lucara Q1 revenue slides due to variability in quality of stones, lower prices

13 may 2020

Lucara Diamonds has realised revenue of $34.1 million from the sale of 86,178 carats in the first quarter of 2020, inclusive of all diamonds sold on Clara.
It said the average price per carat sold was $396 per carat yielding an operating margin of $195 per carat.  

       Image credit: Lucara Diamond

Lucara said the number of carats sold in the first quarter of 2020 eased by 10% compared to 95,053 carats sold for $48.7 million carats or $512 per carat, a year earlier.
The decrease in the average price per carat sold and in total revenue achieved in the first quarter of 2020 was due to a combination of variability in quality of the stones available for sale along with lower achieved prices similar to those realised in mid-2019.
The company also recovered 91,536 carats from the Karowe mine in the first quarter of 2020 compared to 132,336 carats, a year earlier.
Meanwhile, Lucara said a recovery in the pricing environment for both polished and rough diamonds which began in late-2019 has been severely impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic and as a result, several large and small diamond producers have placed their operations on care and maintenance and deferred or cancelled regularly scheduled sales.
Despite the challenges presented by the COVID-19 pandemic, as at May 7, 2020 the Karowe Mine continues to operate at full production levels, with social distancing and other critical health and safety measures designed to limit the spread of the virus being observed, it said.
The government of Botswana had also temporarily granted Lucara permission to conduct sales in Antwerp, Belgium and the second quarter tender which was originally scheduled to close mid-May in Gaborone is expected to be rescheduled and will be held in Antwerp, as soon as market conditions permit.

Mathew Nyaungwa, Editor in Chief of the African Bureau, Rough&Polished