Lucapa, Angola–Lucapa Diamond Co. Ltd. reported Wednesday it recently recovered a 43-carat yellow diamond from the Lulo Diamond Project in Angola.
It is the largest recorded gem-quality colored diamond found at the mine to date, topping the 39-carat pink unearthed in September 2016 by nearly 5 carats.
The yellow stone was recovered from Mining Block 8, which also just yielded a 116-carat diamond that Lucapa said is a boart (non-gem-quality) stone. The diamond was recovered through the XRT large-diamond recovery circuit installed at Lulo in late 2016. (The XRT, or x-ray transmission, sorters are being used by more diamond companies today because they help to prevent large diamonds from getting broken up during processing.)
The 116-carat stone is the tenth 100-carat-plus diamond found at Lulo to date, and the second one within the first three weeks of 2018. Last week, Lucapa reported finding a 103-carat light brown diamond at the mine.
The year has started out on a strong note for smaller diamond mining companies that depend heavily on large, high-value finds to keep their operations funded.
In addition to the 43-carat yellow and the 116-carat boart diamond, Lucapa has found a 103-carat and an 83-carat Type IIa diamond so far this year.
But the biggest find of 2018 to date belongs to Gem Diamonds, which announced this week the recovery of a 910-carat diamond, the fifth largest gem-quality diamond ever found. It came shortly after the mining company unearthed two Type IIa stones weighing more than 100 carats each at the same mine, Letšeng in Lesotho.
Lucapa, in conjunction with its partners Empresa Nacional de Diamantes E.P. (Endiama) and Rosas & Petalas, operates the Lulo Diamond Project in Angola and has a 70 percent stake in the Mothae kimberlite project in Lesotho, which is only about 5 kilometers (3.1 miles) from Letšeng.
Lucapa said previous trial mining at Mothae showed it to be a source of large, high-value diamonds. It remains on track to begin producing in the second half of 2018.