Big, valuable gemstones that may eventually get cut into smaller diamonds keep getting discovered in Angola. Today Lucapa Diamond Company Ltd. (ASX:LOM) said it has uncovered yet another epic rock from its Lulo mine, the second largest to be pulled from deep inside the earth at Lulo.
According to Lucapa, the 227-carat stone was found in a new mining block, indicating that the entire 50-kilometre length of the Cacuilo River is diamondiferous.
The stone weighing 227 carats, discovered by Lucapa and its partners, Empresa Nacional de Diamantes EP, and Rosas & Petales, is a Type IIa D-Colour gem. It’s the same type of diamond that Lucapa recovered in September, in that case weighing 172.6 carats.
The largest diamond to come out of the mine was a 404.2-carat monster that Lucapa unveiled a year ago, and which Lucapa later sold for AUD$22.5 million. The huge rock bested Angola’s previous record for its largest diamond, the Angolan Star, a 217.4-carat gem recovered in 2007.
According to Lucapa, the 227-carat stone was found in a new mining block, indicating that the entire 50-kilometre length of the Cacuilo River is diamondiferous. The alluvial diamond area is among Lucapa’s 3,000 square kilometre Lulo concession, and has so far only been about 20% explored by Lucapa and its partners. The gem was discovered using a new XRT large-diamond recovery circuit recently installed at Lulo.
So far Lucapa has unearthed seven diamonds over 100 carats from the Lulo diamond project. Located 150km from Alrosa’s Catoca mine, the world’s fourth largest diamond mine, Lulo hosts Type IIa diamonds which account for less than 1% of global supply.
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.