Home » Angola’s Lulo Mine Yields Four Diamonds Worth $17 Million

Angola’s Lulo Mine Yields Four Diamonds Worth $17 Million

Four Type IIa diamonds from Lulo mine fetch $17 million at tender

by Motoni Olodun

Angola, one of the world’s top diamond producers, has made a remarkable discovery at its Lulo mine: four Type IIa diamonds weighing 41, 123, 208, and 235 carats, respectively. The four gems fetched a total of $17 million at a tender in Luanda, the capital city.

Type IIa diamonds are the rarest and most valuable in the world, as they have no nitrogen or boron impurities and are almost or entirely devoid of color. They account for less than 2% of all natural diamonds and often have exceptional clarity and brilliance.

The Lulo mine, located in the Lunda Norte province, is a joint venture between Australia’s Lucapa Diamond (ASX: LOM), Angola’s state-owned diamond company Endiama, and a private partner, Rosas & Petalas. The mine has been in commercial production since 2015 and has consistently produced large and high-quality diamonds, including a 404-carat stone that sold for $16 million in 2016.

Lucapa Diamond’s CEO and Managing Director, Nick Selby, said the latest tender result was very encouraging and reflected the strength of the market for exceptional diamonds. He also expressed optimism for the future of the diamond industry, as India resumed rough diamond imports and Russia’s supply was potentially restricted.

“This is a positive result for Lucapa in a year when the diamond industry generally suffered weakness in pricing,” Selby said. “With India about to resume rough diamond imports and Russian diamonds potentially having a restricted flow into the market in 2024, we are optimistic that we will see improvement and stability in diamond prices across all sectors of the market in the new year.”

Angola’s diamond sector has been undergoing a major reform since 2018 when President João Lourenço took office and vowed to increase transparency and foreign investment. The country has also launched a new diamond trading policy that allows producers to sell up to 60% of their output through competitive tenders, rather than through the state-owned diamond trading company Sodiam.

The new policy aims to boost the value and attractiveness of Angola’s diamonds, as well as to foster the development of the local cutting and polishing industry. Angola is currently the world’s fourth-largest diamond producer by value, after Russia, Botswana, and Canada, and has plans to increase its annual output from 9 million carats in 2020 to 13.8 million carats by 2022.

The Lulo mine is not the only source of Angola’s diamond wealth. The country also hosts the Catoca mine, the world’s fifth-largest diamond mine by reserves, and the Luaxe project, one of the largest discoveries in the last half-century, with an estimated resource of 628 million carats. Both projects are partly owned by Russia’s Alrosa (MCX: ALRS), the world’s largest diamond producer by volume.

Angola’s diamond industry is poised to shine brighter in the coming years, as the country leverages its rich resources and reforms to attract more investors and buyers. The four diamonds from Lulo are a testament to the quality and potential of Angola’s gems, which could soon rival the best in the world.

Source: Mining.com


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