In January 2017, the Government of the Kingdom of Lesotho announced that Lucapa had won an international tender to secure a 70% interest in the advanced, high-value Mothae Kimberlite Project.
Mothae sits within a cluster of operating kimberlite diamond mines in Lesotho and is located within 5km of Letseng, the richest $ per carat kimberlite diamond mine in the world. It is less than 2km from a sealed highway to the capital of Maseru.
As part of the acquisition, the Government of Lesotho has issued a new 10 year mining licence for Mothae, which has an automatic right of renewal for a further 10 years.
Mothae is an advanced kimberlite project with a surface area of 8.8 hectares. The kimberlite pipe is well-defined following extensive drilling, bulk sampling and trial mining and has a JORC classified resource of more than 1 million carats at an average modelled diamond value of US$1,063 per carat (Refer ASX announcement 24 March 2017).
The diamonds recovered from the trial mining phase at Mothae were, like Letseng, of exceptional size and quality, achieving sale price of up to US$41,500 per carat.
The >21,000 carats of Mothae diamonds sold from the trial mining phase included a 254 carat brown stone, an 84 carat octahedron and Type IIa gems weighing 56 carats, 29 carats and 14 carats.
The acquisition included on-site infrastructure including a diamond processing plant, workshops, diesel-generated power, accommodation and site offices, fresh water dams and tailings storage facilities.