Lucapa maintains full-year guidance, despite market challenges

ASX-listed diamond miner and explorer Lucapa Diamond Company has maintained…

ASX-listed diamond miner and explorer Lucapa Diamond Company has maintained its production guidance for its Lulo and Mothae mines for the full-year.

Reporting on the company’s performance in the third quarter, ended September 30, MD Nick Selby said Lucapa’s 70%-owned Mothae mine, in Lesotho, continued to perform strongly and had “a very positive quarter”.

Mothae delivered 9 010 ct of diamonds in the third quarter, a 19% year-on-year increase.

Lucapa sold 6 836 ct of diamonds recovered from Mothae during the third quarter – a 5% year-on-year increase, while revenue increased by 12% year-on-year to $5.5-million.

For the full-year, Lucapa expects 29 500 ct of diamonds to be recovered from Mothae.

The Lulo mine, in Angola, in which Lucapa holds a 40% interest, meanwhile, recorded a lower carat recovery and revenue for the third quarter, mainly as a result of lower grades being mined and high-value diamonds being held over for the fourth-quarter tender.

Carat recovery at Lulo decreased by 42% year-on-year to 7 578 ct, while rough diamond revenue decreased by 56% year-on-year to $9.1-million.

Lucapa expects 31 000 ct of diamonds to be recovered at Lulo for the full-year.

The diamond miner noted that some sectors of the rough natural diamond market, especially smaller goods which are sold into mainstream jewellery, are feeling price pressure, while large, high-quality and exceptional diamonds were impacted on to a lesser extent.

“As the recent tender results confirmed, large, high-quality diamonds such as those produced at Lulo and Mothae are still attracting strong prices and are in high demand compared with the smaller goods used by mainstream jewellers,” Selby said.

For the full-year, Lucapa expects Mothae rough diamonds to achieve an average price of $1 000/ct and Lulo diamonds an average price of $2 300/ct.

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