Last year, the world’s second largest gem-quality diamond was discovered by Lucara Diamond Corp. The 1,111 carat stone originated from the Botswana-based Karowe Mine and was recovered using newly installed processing equipment. It was a wonderful highlight for the Lucara team after this key mining asset became active in 2012.
For CEO William Lamb, it was also a great representation of how far the operation had come in such a short time.
“The achievement of getting the project up and running, and seeing the team on the mine site mature at such a quick pace has been fantastic,” he says. “The management team spends a lot of time there so we get to see this evolution of success. I’m down there in the mine myself every four to five weeks.”
Lucara’s acquisition of the Karowe Mine—a move which William played an instrumental role in—presented a major growth opportunity for the company. It was towards the end of 2009 when Lucara was able to obtain a 72 per cent stake in the Botswana asset as part of its AK6 project. It then set about building the mine, and came in only a few days late on an 18-month schedule. “I give it to the project team, because they came in almost on time and under budget,” William notes. “It was in 2012, which was not the easiest time because we didn’t have a lot of information about the north lobe where the initial mining was focused. But since then, as we’ve mined into the other two loads within the resource, we’ve managed to see exponential growth, not just in our understanding of the ore and how it actually behaves, but also in the recovered revenue.