Lucara Diamond Corp.: Development of AK6 Diamond Mine Passes Half Way Point and Remains on Time and Within Budget
VANCOUVER, BRITISH COLUMBIA--(Marketwire - June 27, 2011) -Lucara Diamond Corp. ("Lucara" or the "Company") (TSX VENTURE:LUC) is pleased to provide an update on the development of its 100% owned AK6 diamond project in Botswana. The AK6 mine, to be commissioned by year end, will ramp up to full production in early 2012 to deliver over 400,000 carats of high quality diamonds in its first year of operation.
As at the end of May there were over 400 construction crew members on site and a total of 326,000 hours worked. With the overall project execution at 64% the project remains on target for process plant commissioning to commence in the Q4 of this year. Engineering is now 91% complete; procurement is at 81%; fabrication and delivery at 55%; and construction at 39% complete. The project capital expenditure is also trending in-line with the Feasibility Study estimate of $120 million.
The first structural steel was delivered to site mid-June and first steel erected for the primary crusher structure on June 17. All supplies and equipment deliveries are ramping up in support of construction activities. The power-line construction is well advanced and is scheduled for completion mid-July. The first bay of the main sub-station will be complete in August to provide power for commissioning with the second bay complete in September.
Recruitment of Boteti operational staff is progressing well and all senior positions have been filled with Batswana. The mining operations contractor and process plant operations and maintenance contractors have been appointed and will be mobilizing to site in Q3 in support of commissioning.
Site photographs showing project advancement can be accessed on the company website.
William Lamb, President and CEO, commented, "We're on the home stretch now. It is exciting to see the project take shape and be on schedule and within budget for production to commence later this year. AK6 will be the only new diamond mine coming on stream in the near future and will soon be contributing high quality diamonds to a strengthening diamond market."
Lucara is a well positioned emerging new diamond producer. The Company has an experienced board and management team with years of diamond development expertise. The Company's two key assets are the AK6 diamond mine in Botswana and the Mothae diamond mine in Lesotho. The 100% owned AK6 project is in the construction stage with mine commissioning scheduled to commence in the fourth quarter of 2011. The 75% owned Mothae mine is currently in the trial mining stage. Both Mothae and AK6 are world class assets with tonnage and throughput upside; diamond values from both could significantly increase with the continued recovery of Type IIA and large stones.
On Behalf of the Board,
William Lamb, President and CEO
Forward Looking Statements: This document contains statements about expected or anticipated future events and financial results of Lucara that are forward-looking in nature and are based on Lucara's current expectations, estimates and projections. This forward-looking information is subject to certain risks and uncertainties, such as legal and political risk, civil unrest, 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. The actual results, activities, performance or achievements of Lucara may differ materially from those projected by management. A discussion of factors that may affect Lucara's actual results, performance, achievements or financial position is contained in the filings by Lucara with the Canadian provincial securities regulatory authorities on the system for electronic document analysis and retrieval ("SEDAR") at www.sedar.com.
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