A statement released by the Botswana Stock Exchange (BSE) listed company this week said the tender comprised a total of 1,028 carats. The highest value stones sold was a 256.6 carat gem that went for $4.4 million and a 137.9 carat stone that fetched $4.28-million. Seven more diamonds sold for more than $1 million each.
Lucara said it planned to hold one more regular tender during the fourth quarter, bringing the total volume of diamonds sold in 2013 to more than 420,000 carats as forecast. The company announced that the Karowe mine continued to produce exceptionally large stones, including a 167 carat diamond and a 122 carat diamond, which would be sold by tender in 2014.
“The company has received tremendous demand for its beautiful Karowe diamonds. This success truly demonstrates how robust the market continues to be for large, high-quality diamonds. Globally, diamonds above 100 carat are exceedingly rare, yet since March alone, Karowe has produced 16 diamonds greater than 100 carat each,” president and CEO William Lamb said.
Lucara’s revenues more than tripled to $42.1 million (P366 million) in the third quarter that ended on September 30, 2013 as its flagship Karowe Mine delivered more exceptional carats than predicted. On the back of a 24% production ramp at the mine and the company’s diamond auctions in Gaborone, Lucara is now debt free and has moved into a profit position from the previous period losses. The company held two sales during the period, achieving an average price of $625 per carat. Lucara posted a profit of $15 million compared with a loss of $3.4 million the previous year. Production at Karowe rose 24% to 113,881 carats, while the company sold 81,357 carats from the mine. Okavango Diamond Company (ODC) recently joined Lucara Diamonds in holding independent diamond auctions in Gaborone. This year, the ODC will purchase, market and sell 12% of Debswana production that the state is entitled to, through the new marketing agreement signed with De Beers in 2011. Okavango sells about 250,000 carats of rough per auction with projected annual sales of about $400 million.
Karowe is the only operating diamond mine outside the Debswana stable.