Australia-based Lucapa Diamond (ASX:LOM) has recovered another major rock from trial mining at E46 alluvial terraces — a new area at its Lulo mine, in Angola.
The 68.1-carat gem-quality diamond is one of eight “significant” rocks found at the site, located about 10 km upstream from the alluvial Mining Block 8 and 6, from which Lucapa has been mining diamonds since the firm began commercial operations in January last year.
According to the miner, the finding highlights the potential for widespread recovery of large gems from its Lulo mine, considering the largest individual diamond recovered from the initial exploration bulk sampling phase conducted in the area weighed just 6.9 carat.
Lulo, about 700 kilometers (435 miles) east of Angola’s capital Luanda, is a joint venture between the company and the Angolan government. Lulo is located 150km from Alrosa’s Catoca mine, the world’s fourth largest diamond mine.
The mine hosts type-2a diamonds which account for less than 1% of global supply and, according to Lucapa, the world’s most famous large, white, flawless diamonds belong to this category.
Angola is the world’s No.4 diamond producer by value and No.6 by volume. Its industry, which began a century ago under Portuguese colonial rule, is successfully emerging from a long period of difficulty as a result of a civil war that ended in 2002.
The government has recently reduced taxes and cut state ownership requirements as it seeks to rekindle the industry after the global financial crisis forced mines to close.