|Lucapa Diamond Company Limited (Lucapa) has issued an update on the March 2017 quarter (Q1 2017) diamond production from the Lulo Diamond Project in Angola.
The company reports thatá the Lulo alluvial mining company, Sociedade Mineira Do Lulo (SML) (in which Lucapa is a 40 percent owner and the operator) achieved record plant throughput volumes of 70,967 bulk cubic metres in the quarter, an increase of 91 percent compared with Q1 2016.
During the quarter, 4,098 carats were recovered, an increase of 33 percent over the 3,087 carats recovered in Q1 2016. Thirty-eight Specials were recovered (stones larger than 10.8 carats) in the quarter, an increase of 58 percent compared with Q1 2016.
Average grade (5.8 carats per 100 cubic metres) and average stone size (1.2 carats) were down 30 percent and 15 percent respectively, which the company explains was due to restricted access to Mining Blocks 8 and 6 due to the Angolan wet season, which resulted in mining operations moving predominantly to Mining Block 28, where the gravel is of lower grade.
The company notes that it expects mining operations to continue predominantly at Mining Block 28 until the Angolan wet season finishes and ground conditions once again permit safe access to Mining Blocks 8 and 6. The Lulo Diamond Project is a partnership under the mining company Sociedade Mineira do Lulo (SML) between diamond miner Lucapa, Endiama (Angola's National Prospecting, Mining, Trading and Polishing Company), and the private group Rosas & Petalas.