Vancouver, British Columbia--Mining company Lucara Diamond Corp. reported that its first tender of big and “exceptional” rough diamonds garnered a total of $24.9 million, or $30,468 per carat.

This special sale of diamonds from the Karowe Mine in Botswana, the company’s only fully operational mine, consisted of 15 single-stone lots totaling about 817 carats. The tender sold 100 percent by volume.

The highest-grossing piece of rough was the 239-carat diamond discovered earlier this year along with a 124-carat and a 71.1-carat stone.

The 239-carat rough diamond sold for $5.8 million, a little more than $24,000 per carat. In addition, there were another four diamonds that sold for more than $2.5 million each, Lucara said.

Company President and CEO William Lamb said over the past few weeks, the company has recovered more large diamonds from Karowe and is considering holding another large stone tender later in the year. In addition, Lucara has made modifications to the top size of material that the mine’s process plant can treat due to the continued recovery of larger-than-expected diamonds.

“We are ecstatic with the results of this special tender and it confirms the quality of diamonds currently being produced from Karowe,” Lamb said. “The recovery of large and exceptional diamonds cannot accurately be predicted but the recovery of blue diamonds and now a population of large diamonds are making Karowe a remarkable deposit.  To be in a position to hold a large stone tender within the first year of production is exceptional, especially when considering that all the diamonds sold were recovered from a regular production cycle.”

Lucara held the special tender in addition to its regular sale, which closed on May 14.

Based in Vancouver, Lucara owns 100 percent of the Karowe Mine and has a 75 percent stake in the Mothae Project in the Kingdom of Lesotho. 

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