Lucara Exceeds Expectations in First Full Year of Production

Lucara Diamond Corp. (TSX:LUC) announced yesterday its 2013 results, commenting that it recorded revenue of $180.5 million from diamond sales. That amounts to an average price of $411 per carat; operating expenses came to a total of $100 per carat.

Other highlights include:

Cash flows, cash operating margins and year end diamond inventory: At year end the Company was well positioned for 2014 with a significant diamond inventory of approximately 67,000 carats of diamond, including a selection of exceptional stones totalling over 1,000 carats. The Company expects to hold its first Exceptional Stone Tender of 2014, early in the second quarter.

Exceptional stone tenders: The Company continued to recover large and exceptional diamonds, resulting in an exceptional stone tender during the quarter achieving revenue of $22.9 million ($20,280 per carat). During 2013 the Company held three exceptional stone tenders achieving revenues of $72.1 million (2,971 carats at $24,290 per carat).

Net cash position: The Company continued to achieve strong cash operating earnings of $39.0 million during the quarter and $118.6 million for the year resulting in a year-end cash balance of $49.4 million. Management expects to use the existing cash resources to finance Karowe’s plant upgrade capital expenditure during 2014. At year-end the Company remains debt free with the $25 million Scotiabank credit facility being undrawn.

William Lamb, Lucara’s president and CEO, commented:

Our first full year of production has surpassed expectations on all fronts having achieved total revenues in excess of $180 million and met production and safety targets at significant cost savings. Lucara exceeded its initial revenue guidance of $90 million by approximately $20 million, not including sales received from its exceptional stone tenders, achieving robust margins and demonstrating that the Karowe diamonds have been well received in the marketplace. Additional revenues of approximately $72 million, generated from the sale of our large and exceptional stones has further, significantly strengthened our balance sheet.

Click here to read the full Lucara Diamond Corp. (TSX:LUC) press release.