Massive Diamond Boosts Lucara’s 2016 Sales

Toronto: Lucara Diamond Corp. expects revenue to hit $295 million in 2016, implying a 32 percent surge from a year ago, following the sale of the most expensive rough diamond in history.

The Canada-based miner sold the 813-carat Constellation diamond for a record $63.1 million, or $77,649 per carat, to Dubai-based Nemesis International in May. Full-year revenue including that stone is expected to come in at an average of $823 per carat, the company said.

Sales excluding the Constellation diamond are anticipated at $232 million, or $649 per carat. This includes the miner’s recently closed fourth regular tender of the year, as well as an exceptional stone tender in November that fetched $38.7 million.

“Our final sale of the year has shown strong demand for our larger, higher-quality diamonds and a sustainable demand for the smaller-size diamonds,” said William Lamb, Lucara’s president and chief executive officer.

Lucara extracts diamonds from the Karowe mine in Botswana, best known for the 1,109-carat Lesedi La Rona, the second-largest rough diamond in history which failed to sell at a Sotheby’s auction this year. Sales from the mine since its launch in June 2012 exceeded the billion mark at this year’s fourth regular tender, hitting $1.02 billion, or an average of $566 per carat. Total production from the mine is 1.8 million carats over the four years.

Revenue in 2017 is expected to be $200 million to $220 million, excluding sales of exceptional diamonds such as the Lesedi La Rona, which is yet to be sold. The company envisages more lucrative mining next year as it shifts excavation to a part of Karowe that holds potential for higher-value production.