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Lucara reports ‘strong’ first half results

15 august 2014

Lucara Diamond’s total proceeds for the first half of the year reached $128.6 million or $586 per carat from the sale of 219,370 carats of diamonds.
This, factoring in an operating cost of $124 per carat, resulted in a 79 percent operating margin of $462 per carat.
The company said in a statement emailed to Rough & Polished that it achieved second quarter tender proceeds of $95.0 million or $849 per carat from sales of 111,902 carats.
This included proceeds of $24.7 million, which were received after the quarter.
Following the second quarter the company concluded its second exceptional stone tender in July for proceeds of $40.1 million, which resulted in full year to date proceeds of $168.6 million at a sales price of $764 per carat.
"Lucara had a strong first half of the year and this has continued into the third quarter with our second exceptional stone tender in July, resulting in total year to date proceeds of $169 million, achieving $764 per carat,” said company chief executive William Lamb.
Lucara also said that the operating performance of its Karowe mine in Botswana exceeded plan during the period under review in terms of ore and waste mined and carats recovered.
The company recovered a record number of 252 special stones (+10.8 carats) during the period with an average size of 27.84 carats.
Lamb said Karowe had by end of June sold 54 diamonds larger than 50 carats, including 11 diamonds larger than 100 carats and 30 diamonds selling for more than $1 million.
“The sustainable recovery of special diamonds has enabled the addition of the third exceptional stones tender which will be held in the fourth quarter," he said.
Meanwhile, Lucara increased its revenue forecast by about 60 percent for the year to between $240 million and $250 million based on year to date sales, current diamond inventory and its forecast production.
It maintained its overall cost outlook for Karowe of between $31-$33 per tonne ore processed.

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