By Michelle Graff
Eira Thomas is the new CEO of Lucara Diamond Corp., replacing the retiring William Lamb. Lucara operates the Karowe mine in Botswana.
Vancouver--Lucara, the company that recovered a 1,109-carat diamond in Botswana, announced Monday that it has a new CEO.

Eira Thomas, a co-founder of the mining company, is taking over for William Lamb, who is retiring from Lucara and also stepping down from its board of directors. 

Joining the board is another of the company’s co-founders, Catherine McLeod Seltzer, the current chair of Bear Creek Mining Corp. and a director of Kinross Gold.

Thomas has more than 25 years’ experience in the mining industry, most recently serving as CEO of Kaminak Gold Corp. before its 2017 acquisition by Goldcorp for $520 million. 

She spent 16 years with Aber Diamond Corporation (now Dominion Diamond), where she moved up from geologist to vice president of exploration to a director of the board. She also was a co-founder and, later, CEO and executive chairman of Canadian miner Stornoway Diamond Corp.

Thomas started Lucara in 2007 with Seltzer and Lukas Lundin, and stayed on as a director.

Lamb has been CEO of Lucara since April 2008, during which time the Karowe mine has become one of the world’s highest-margin diamond mines and a major producer of large, Type IIA stones.

In addition to the 1,109-carat Lesedi La Rona, which sold for $53 million last fall, the mine also produced the 813-carat Constellation Diamond, which went for a record $63.1 million.

During Lamb’s tenure, the company also adopted both autogenous milling and the use of X-ray transmission sorters to ensure big diamonds weren’t broken up during the sorting process. 

2016 812 with tweezersThe 812.77-carat Constellation Diamond, one of two major stones unearthed at Lucara’s Karowe mine in Botswana under departing CEO William Lamb’s tenure.

Also on Monday, Lucara announced its acquisition of Clara Diamond Solutions Corp. for $29 million.

Clara is a digital platform that uses algorithms to match up rough diamond production with polished manufacturing demands on a stone-by-stone basis.

Lucara said the platform can be integrated with blockchain technology. It also noted that the platform can eliminate the need for fixed sales cycles, which would reduce carrying costs across the supply chain.

It said it plans to begin using Clara in the coming months with a selection of rough from the Karowe mine.

After that, Lucara will scale the system to accommodate rough diamonds from other companies.

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