Botswana Mine That Produces Big Diamonds Granted Extension

SourcingJan 12, 2021

Botswana Mine That Produces Big Diamonds Granted Extension

The Botswana government granted Lucara’s application to renew the license for the Karowe Mine through 2046.

The government of Botswana granted Lucara’s application to renew the license for the Karowe Diamond Mine, the open-pit operation pictured here that Lucara is hoping to take underground. (Photo courtesy of Lucara Diamond Corp.)

Gaborone, Botswana—The government of Botswana has given the Karowe mine the green light to continue to operate for the next 25 years, owner Lucara Diamond Corp. announced last week.

The country’s Minister of Mineral Resources, Green Technology and Energy Security has granted renewal of the site’s mining license.

It took effect Jan. 4 and is valid for a period of 25 years, securing Lucara’s right to mine at Karowe until 2046.

RELATED CONTENT: Lucara Looking to Double Life of Botswana’s Karowe Mine

Lucara said the renewal and extension of the site’s mining license is a critical step in taking the mine underground.

Determined in 2019 to be feasible, the Karowe underground expansion project is estimated to cost $514 million and take five years.

If it moves forward, the project is expected to yield its first ore in 2026, the same year by which the mine’s open-pit reserves will be depleted.

The expansion will extend the life of the mine to 2040.

Lucara is still in in need of financing to take Karowe underground but said last week it expects to have that in place by the second half of the year.

“The receipt of our mining license renewal and extension to 2046 is an important milestone for the Karowe underground expansion project, paving the way for the completion of a supplemental debt financing and full project sanction later this year,” President and CEO Eira Thomas said.

“Lucara is grateful for the confidence and support demonstrated by the government of Botswana as we work to expand our operations at Karowe underground.”

RELATED CONTENT: Q&A—11 Questions With Naseem Lahri

Karowe is known for producing large, high-quality diamonds.

It yielded the 1,109-carat “Lesedi La Rona,” the second largest gem-quality rough diamond ever unearthed, in 2015 and, more recently, a 1,758-carat rough diamond Lucara is having cut, polished and turned into jewelry in partnership with HB Antwerp and Louis Vuitton.

Michelle Graffis the editor-in-chief at National Jeweler, directing the publication’s coverage both online and in print.

The Latest

IndependentsJul 28, 2021
Estelle Hedaya, Full of Life and Loved by All, Laid to Rest

The funeral for Hedaya, the final victim identified in the Surfside condo collapse, took place Tuesday in her native Brooklyn.

CrimeJul 28, 2021
2 Charged in Series of Luxury Watch Robberies in NY Metro Area

The men allegedly stole, or attempted to steal, watches worth hundreds of thousands of dollars off victims’ wrists.

MajorsJul 28, 2021
Helzberg Recruits NFL Star to Introduce Fifth ‘C’ of Diamonds

The jewelry company wants to guide customers making the choice between a natural and a lab-grown diamond.

Brought to you by
3 Reasons Why You Should Start Appraising This Summer

Create appraisals with the Jewelry Appraisal Solution on the Zing by Jewelers Mutual Group® platform and leverage the expertise of Gemworld.

IndependentsJul 28, 2021
My Jewelry Repair Is Now Montblanc-Certified

The online division of jewelry and watch repair service M&G Jewelers can now restore Montblanc watches, writing instruments, and more.

Weekly QuizJul 23, 2021
This Week's Quiz
Test your knowledge of jewelry news from the week of July 19-23, 2021.
Take the Quiz
IndependentsJul 27, 2021
Retailer Hall of Fame 2021: Marie Helene Reinhold

The much-loved and well-respected jeweler has an unparalleled eye for talent and the ability to see failure as an opportunity to grow.

FinancialsJul 27, 2021
LVMH’s H1 Sales Soar as Tiffany Settles In

The luxury titan’s watch and jewelry sales more than tripled in the first half of the year.

Brought to you by
Is Men’s Jewelry an Untapped Category for Retailers?

Statistics and sales over the last several years have proven that men’s jewelry is now a fast-growing area of the market.

Lab-GrownJul 27, 2021
Charlie Dolly Makes the Move to Lab-Grown Diamonds

The second collection from the Rebecca Romijn-designed brand features natural sapphires and lab-grown diamonds.