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LUC - Lucara Diamond News Story

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Last Trade - 09/04/21

Sector
Basic Materials
Size
Small Cap
Market Cap £166.5m
Enterprise Value £186.4m
Revenue £91.4m
Position in Universe 559th / 2707

Botswana extends licence of Karowe Diamond mine by 25 years

Tue 5th January, 2021 8:28am
GABORONE, Jan 5 (Reuters) - Botswana has extended the mining
licence of the Karowe Diamond mine by 25 years to 2046 as the
high-value mine owned by Lucara Diamond Corp  LUC.TO  prepares
to convert from open-pit to an underground operation, the
company said on Tuesday.
    Karowe, the only independent diamond mine operating in
Botswana outside of the De Beers stable, is known for digging up
large high-value stones such as the 1,758 carat Sewelô stone in
2019 - the second-largest diamond ever mined - and the 1,109
carat Lesedi La Rona in 2015.
    "The receipt of our mining licence 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,” Lucara Diamond President and CEO Eira Thomas said in a
statement.
    Works have begun to turn the Karowe open pit mine into an
underground operation, a project that is expected to double the
mine's life span and produce 7.8 million carats over 20 years
and $5.25 billion in gross revenue over that period.
    "The company continues to explore debt financing options for
the underground expansion for those amounts which are expected
to exceed the company's cash flow from operations during the
construction period. The company anticipates financing to be in
place by the second half of this year."
    The underground expansion programme has an estimated capital
cost of $514 million and a five-year period of development, with
first ore anticipated from underground in 2026.
    Karowe produces an average of 300,000 high-value carats each
year and contributes to Botswana's total national diamond
exports, the country’s top foreign exchange earner.

 (Reporting by Brian Benza; Editing by Susan Fenton)
 ((nqobile.dludla@thomsonreuters.com; +27103461066;))
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