Drilling is part of the kimberlite exploration program, which aims to identify the kimberlite source or sources of the high-value alluvial diamonds being recovered through current mining at Lulo.
Mining operations at Lulo during 2016 achieved the highest average per carat price of any run of mine diamond production in the world.
The Lulo diamonds include Type IIa D-colour gems weighing up to 404 carats.
Two other drill rigs will join the track-mounted rig after the wet season finishes in April. The first batch of drill core is to be dispatched to the lab soon.
Lucapa’s flagship asset and principal investment is the Lulo Diamond Project, which is a partnership over a 3,000 square kilometre concession in the African country of Angola.
The Lulo project is a joint venture between Lucapa, Endiama (Angolan government) and Rosas & Petalas – a private partner.
Lucapa holds 40% of the alluvial diamond mining operations and is the operator where it recovers large premium-value diamonds of up to 404 carats.
These special diamonds account for 30% of the diamond weight but more than 90% of overall diamond revenues.
Lucapa is also in the process of advancing the acquisition of an interest in the advanced Mothae Kimberlite Diamond Project located in the southern African country of Lesotho.
Similar to Lucapa’s flagship Lulo diamond operation, Mothae has produced large and premium-value diamonds, including Type IIa stones.
Lucapa plans to bring Mothae into production within 12 months under a low-cost, staged development plan.
Helicopter surveys progressing
The helicopter-borne time domain electromagnetic (TDEM) survey over the Cacuilo River valley block at Lulo is now 80% complete.
It is aiming to identify other non-magnetic targets and improve definition of known kimberlite targets.
Recovery of 92 carat diamond
Lucapa and its partners have also recently recovered another premium-value 92 carat diamond from new Mining Block 28 at Lulo.
The 92 carat diamond follows the recent recovery of a 227 carat gem sold last month from the same mining block, which is proving to be another new exciting resource area.
The diamond has been recorded as a D-colour Type I diamond on the Yehuda colorimeter.