First diamonds from Angola’s new pipe to arrive mid-2020

Moscow, Angola’s major new Luaxe diamond deposit may start trial mining in mid-2020 and could produce 1 million carats of diamonds worth $90 million in 2020, Russian diamond producer Alrosa said.

Angola’s state-controlled diamond miner Catoca and Alrosa found Luaxe’s Luele pipe in 2013. Catoca has spent $200 million studying and developing it further and has said the pipe may turn out to be the largest discovery in the industry in 60 years.

It will be one of the largest deposits in the world, Vladimir Marchenko, Alrosa’s deputy chief executive in charge of its Africa business, told Reuters.

In November, Alrosa’s specialists finished reviewing a sample of Luaxe’s ore containing 45,000 carats of diamonds. This data will be used to complete the reserves audit, he said.

According to Reuters, the pre-feasibility study is yet to come, and the scale of Luaxe’s future production will depend on the project’s economics and global demand.

Global diamond production, Alrosa estimates, will fall to 139 million carats in 2023 from a record of 151 million in 2017. Alrosa is the world’s biggest diamond producer by volume, it competes with De Beers, the largest by revenue.

In 2020, Luaxe’s ore will be processed at Catoca’s nearby mine. Catoca, in which Alrosa owns 41%, currently holds a 50.5% stake in the project. Both are discussing the final distribution of Luaxe’s ownership.

Source: Bahrain News Agency