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Botswana: Miner to produce 420,000 carats of diamonds in 2014

Canadian miner Lucara Diamond, with operations in Botswana and Lesotho, is optimistic that operational performance in its Karowe mine in Botswana will be exceptional this year.

Lucara Diamond on Wednesday announced, through the Botswana Stock Exchange (BSE), that Karowe is forecast to process 2.2-2.4 million tonnes of ore and will produce and sell 400,000 to 420,000 carats of diamonds in 2014, following an outstanding performance during the first quarter.

“Operational performance at Karowe was very good for the first quarter of 2014. Tonnes of ore mined for the quarter performed better than budget and at a higher grade, which contributed to an increase in carats recovered during the period.”

In addition, the company expects to raise revenue, ranging between US$150 million and $160 million.

Meanwhile, the company plans to hold eight diamond tenders and two exceptional stone tenders during the year.

Lucar Diamonds says the timing of these tenders will be based on Karowe’s production profile as well as commercial decisions to maximize diamond revenue.

“Lucara has had a strong start to the year with continued production performance from the mine team and two successful tenders during the first quarter generating revenue in excess of US$30 million. We have brought forward our second Exceptional Stone Tender to early in the third quarter due to the sustainable recovery of large stones with more than 330 special stones (+10.8 carats) recovered to date,” said William Lamb, president and chief executive officer of Lucara Diamonds.

In early April, the company recorded strong results from its first exceptional stone, earning US$50 million.

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