Lucapa and its partners conduct kimberlite exploration within the Lulo concession in parallel with the alluvial diamond mining operations. This exploration aims to locate the hard-rock sources of the exceptional alluvial diamonds.
The frequent recovery of large, irregular-shaped and high-value diamonds at Lulo – with little signs of travel – all point to a proximal kimberlite source.
Kimberlite exploration is undertaken under an exploration licence and Mineral Investment Contract issued by the Angolan Government (through the Ministry of Mineral Resources & Petroleum) which runs until April 2023.
While alluvial diamond mining is conducted through mining company Sociedade Mineira Do Lulo, kimberlite exploration is conducted through joint venture company Projecto Lulo (Lucapa 39% interest and operator; Endiama 51%, Rosas & Petalas 10%).
Lucapa funds kimberlite exploration in the form of loans to Projecto Lulo. These loans are repayable to Lucapa when and if kimberlite mining operations are established at Lulo.
In June 2019, Lucapa announced the commencement of the next kimberlite exploration phase at Lulo, based on an extensive technical review of all results to date including those from the 2018 drilling program, which increased to more than 100 the number of confirmed kimberlites within the concession.
Key features of the new Lulo kimberlite exploration phase include:
- An extensive stream bulk sampling program focusing on six major tributaries feeding from high-interest areas into the Cacuilo River upstream of the prolific Mining Blocks 8 and 6
- Follow-up delineation drilling of 16 Lulo kimberlite pipes rated most prospective to host diamonds
- Drilling eight additional kimberlite targets