Vancouver, Canada based Lucara Diamond Corp. is an exploration and mining outfit operating in Botswana and Namibia. With prolific super sized rough recoveries reported, the company has plans for more mining in Zimbabwe, and Cameroon.
Big and Bigger
In November 2015, the company announced the discovery of the world’s 2nd largest gemmy diamond ever found. Ever. It sides up next to the 3,106-carat Cullinan recovered over a century ago. Lucara’s jumbo Type IIa crystal, Lesedi La Rona, a 1,109-carat wonder left jaws still slack when two more super sized diamonds were pulled from the same region just 2 days after news broke of the Lesedi La Rona. These next two crystals weighed 813 and 374 carats each.
Technology for Large Rough Extraction
It’s small wonder then that the company would aggressively pursue methods of recovering ultra-large rough intact. Recent reports tell us that Lucara has now completed the first of several strategic levels to upgrade its processing plant at Botswana’s Karowe mine in an effort to establish newer recovery technology for harvesting the world’s largest diamonds.
These advances will allow for sifting of diamonds as large as 90 millimeters or 3.5 inches, found by sifting through tons of mining debris. The massive 1,109-carat diamond recovered at Karowe, was still the world’s 2nd largest gem even after breaking off a 374-carat section in the process.
Africa’s two mines, Lucara’s Karowe and Gem Diamonds Letseng in Lesotho are known as consistent producers of massive diamonds. But turning out such enormous stones poses unique obstacles for miners. The recovery process involves crushing immense quantities of rock to locate the rough. Now the two companies will invest in more expensive filters and laser diamond identification technology to uncover these super stones prior to crushing the ore.
The Cullinan Story
Building this new technology opens the way for the recovery of a diamond of similar to the Cullinan diamond recovered in 1905. The Cullinan at 3,106-carats was said to have a large flat surface—a cleavage plane on one side of the stone. This means that mammoth rock was originally larger than what was found. At approximately 4.1 inches long, the Cullinan was extracted from its host rock with a pocket knife off the wall of the Premier No.2 mine in South Africa. To this day, it remains the largest diamond ever found. Today it makes up part of the British crown jewels.
Nov. 7 — Nov. 14, 2016 is slated for Lucara’s next tender of 12 diamonds with a combined weight of 1,100 carats.