Lucapa Diamond Company says the recent $US5.4 million ($7.5m) sale of a pair of earrings at a prestigious Southeby’s jewellery auction in Geneva has highlighted the value of its move into cutting and polishing its raw gems.
The earrings feature a square-cut emerald diamond crafted in the group’s cutting and polishing partnership with Mauritius-based Safdico established last year.
The polished gem featured in one of the earrings originates from a one-hundred carat diamond recovered from Lucapa’s Mothae mine in Lesotho.
Through the partnership with Safdico, the Mothae mine generates additional margin over and above the rough diamond value.
The original 101 carat stone yielded other high-value diamonds, including a 12 carat flawless D-colour round cut and a 10 carat flawless D-colour marquise cut.
Lucapa managing director Stephen Wetherall said capturing additional margin from the natural rough diamonds the company produced was an integral part of its continued growth strategy, pursuing downstream opportunities.
The company also holds a 40 per cent stake in the Lulo diamond mine in Angola and is eyeing a near-term restart of the shuttered Merlin diamond mine in the Northern Territory, which was previously operated by Rio Tinto and Ashton Mining.
Lucapa shares closed unchanged at 8.2c on Thursday.
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