Lucara Diamond Corp. (TSX:LUC) announced the Company’s fourth quarter 2012 results. The Karowe Diamond Mine in Botswana was successfully built and commissioned and it produced a total of 303,000 carats from 1.4 million tonnes of ore, exceeding guidance by 12%. The Company sold 215,762 carats for $54.6 million at an average sale price of $253 per carat.
As quoted in the press release:
The Company completed five sales during the year totaling 215,762 carats for proceeds of $54.6 at an average sales price of $253 per carat. Included in these results is the sale of a 9.46 carat blue diamond for $4.5 million or $477,272 per carat. A table reconciling sales proceeds and revenues reported in the Company’s statement of operations can be found on page 4. Total sales forecast for 2013 is 400,000 carats.
A total of 303,000 carats of diamond were recovered in 2012 against a forecast of 271,000 carats. Average grade processed during the fourth quarter of 2012 was 25.4 carats per hundred tonnes. The average grade processed for the year was 22.0 carats per hundred tonnes compared to a budget of 20.2 carats per hundred tonnes.
Lucara Diamond Corp. President and CEO, William Lamb, said:
In under eight months, Karowe has established itself as one of Botswana’s premier diamond producers, having yielded a number of exceptional, high value stones including a 9.6 carat blue diamond that sold for $4.5 million in Q3 and more recently, a 239 carat white diamond that was recovered in early March, 2013. The latter stone represents one of the largest diamonds ever recovered in the prolific Orapa district. With the successful sales and recovery of exceptional stones continuing in Q1 2013, significant cash proceeds of $32.5 million have been achieved, including the sale of Karowe’s second blue diamond for $1.6 million or $341,416 per carat. This cash generation will allow the Company to readily make its first debenture payment instalment at the end of March. I look forward to 2013 being another outstanding year for Lucara.