Lucara Diamond Corp.: First Diamonds Recovered From Mothae Diamond Project
VANCOUVER, BRITISH COLUMBIA--(Marketwire - April 21, 2008) - Lucara Diamond Corp. ("Lucara" or "the Company") (CNQ:LUCA) and partner Motapa Diamonds Inc. (TSX VENTURE:MTP) are pleased to provide the following update on progress at the Mothae kimberlite project in Lesotho.
Processing of three bulk samples from the Mothae kimberlite has yielded 267 diamonds with a total weight of 132.31 carats. Nine diamonds exceed two carats with the largest stone being 8.65 carats.
These are the first results from the Mothae sampling program which commenced in early March. The samples processed to date represent approximately one third of an initial 30,000 tonne bulk sampling program aimed at determining the potential for the Mothae kimberlite to host large high value diamonds similar to those recovered at the nearby Letseng diamond mine. If results of this initial test are sufficiently positive, sampling of up to 70,000 tonnes of additional material will be conducted to evaluate diamond grade within the Mothae pipe and to collect a sufficient number of diamonds for valuation purposes.
The initial sampling program is designed to test material from 6 kimberlite domains within the Mothae pipe. The domains all comprise volcaniclastic kimberlite and are defined on the basis of geophysical properties and variations in the abundance of different kimberlite indicator minerals. Between 2,000 and 5,000 tonnes of each kimberlite domain is being processed as individual samples and, based on the results of this work, the balance of the initial 30,000 tonne sample will be taken from the kimberlite domain or domains with the best apparent diamond potential. A map showing each sample site can be viewed on Motapa's website at www.motapadiamonds.com.
Motapa's CEO, Dr Larry Ott, noted, "We are encouraged with the number of relatively large stones recovered to date and indications of a potentially coarse diamond size distribution at Mothae. We are looking forward to further results and a detailed evaluation of the diamonds after completion of this initial 30,000 tonne sample."
Lukas Lundin, President of Lucara, commented, "The recovery of large diamonds at this early stage is an encouraging start for the Mothae project. Our proximity to Letseng, one of the world's most important producers of large diamond gemstones, provides further hope that Mothae could be the next success story in Lesotho."
The sample material is being processed through a dense media separation (DMS) plant which operates at a nominal 30 tonnes per hour. The process plant is designed to recover diamonds in various size fractions ranging from 2 mm to 18 mm. Heavy mineral concentrate produced by the DMS plant is passed through a continuous grease belt for diamond recovery, with the exception of the very coarse fraction (+14 mm) which is hand sorted. These results are preliminary; final results will be reported following completion of this initial sampling program which is expected to be completed by the end of June.
Approximately 9,000 tonnes of kimberlite material from three samples, C1, C2, and F1 have been processed. Sample C1, produced 60 diamonds for a total of 18.14 carats, sample C2 produced 75 diamonds for a total of 45.4 carats, and sample F1 produced 132 diamonds for a total of 68.77 carats. As a result of a malfunction in the plant weightometer, final tonnage estimates for each sample are pending stockpile and pit survey results. Sample C1 produced one diamond greater than 2 carats, weighing 2.38 carats.
Sample C2 produced 4 stones greater than 2 carats weighing 2.1 cts, 3.38 cts, 3.76 cts, and 6.8 cts. Sample F1 also produced 4 stones greater than 2 carats, weighing 2.43 cts, 3.46 cts, 5.41 cts, and 8.65 cts.
Pursuant to an option agreement with Motapa, Lucara will fund up to US$10 million to earn up to 70% of Motapa's interest in the Mothae project.
The sampling program is being carried out under the supervision of Dr. Tom Nowicki of Mineral Services Canada, a Qualified Person in terms of NI43-101.
On behalf of the Board,
Lukas H. Lundin, President and CEO
Forward-looking statements: This press release contains statements about expected or anticipated future events and financial results that are forward-looking in nature and, as a result, are subject to certain risks and uncertainties, such as general economic, market and business conditions, the regulatory process and actions, technical issues, new legislation, competitive and general economic factors and conditions, the uncertainties resulting from potential delays or changes in plans, the occurrence of unexpected events and management's capacity to execute and implement its future plans. Actual results may differ materially from those projected by management.