Lucara Diamond has unearthed a 123-carat, gem-quality, top white Type II diamond at its Karowe mine, in Botswana, the same operation where it found the largest precious rock ever found in the African country.
The stone was recovered from direct milling ore sourced from the EM/PK(S) unit of the South Lobe, the same area that yielded the famous “Lesedi La Rona.” The giant 1,109 carat diamond, however, was a hard sell for Lucara. Its buyer, Graff Diamonds ended up cutting it into smaller stones.
Karowe, which began commercial operations in 2012, has this year yielded 22 diamonds larger than 100 carats, eight of them exceeding 200 carats.
The mine also yielded the 1,758 carat Sewelô meaning “rare find” diamond, the largest ever recovered in Botswana.
The Vancouver-based company also announced it had recovered a 375 carat gem quality diamond during the processing of historic tailings from the mine. Reprocessing has so far yielded 29 diamonds over 100 carats, Lucara said.
Since the start of the year, the miner has sold 19 diamonds each with an individual price in excess of $1 million at its quarterly tender sales. This includes seven diamonds that fetched more than $2 million each, and one diamond that carried a final price tag of over $8 million.
“Lucara is pleased with the continued strong performance of the mine and the consistent recovery of large, high quality diamonds that contribute more than 70% of Lucara’s total revenues,” CEO Eira Thomas said in a statement.
The company, which has focused efforts on the prolific Botswana mine this year, is close to completing a feasibility study into potential underground production and life of mine expansion at Karowe.