Potential mine in Angola yielding rare rough


Perth, Western Australia--A site in Angola that one Australian company is hoping will turn into a lucrative diamond mine has been turning out some pure rough as of late. 

Lucapa Diamond Company said Wednesday that it now has recovered a dozen diamonds from four different kimberlite pipes at its sampling at the Lulo Diamond Concession in Angola. 

Of those 12, six are confirmed Type IIa stones, as identified by independent diamond consultant Ray Ferraris of Independent Diamond Valuers. 

Type IIa diamonds contain very little or no nitrogen and, as a result, are colorless or nearly colorless. They account for less than 1 percent of total global diamond production. 

Five of the Type IIa diamonds, weighing a total of 2.30 carats, came from a single pipe that Lucapa’s geologists believe is likely the source of the large (up to 131.4 carats) and valuable Type IIa diamonds recovered via alluvial mining in the same area. 

The sixth diamond was recovered from a different pipe at the Lulo concession. 

Lucapa managing director Miles Kennedy said that confirmation that the kimberlite pipes at Lulo contain type IIa diamonds is another significant milestone for the company. 

“The fact we have now identified several diamond-bearing kimberlite pipes proximal to where we have found large alluvial diamonds is of great significance as we are really only scratching the surface of these pipes at this time,” he said. “The independent confirmation that 50 percent of the diamonds recovered are rare type IIa diamonds also adds early credence that these pipes could well be the source of the alluvial diamonds; early but exciting days.” 

The Lulo Diamond Concession is located in the diamond-rich Lunda Norte province in Angola, and has been Lucapa’s sole focus for the past six years. The company is seeking to obtain a license to perform alluvial mining at Lulo and also is testing the area’s kimberlite pipes to locate the primary source, or sources, of the type IIa alluvial diamonds being found in the area. 

Lucapa, which is run by Kennedy and former Rio Tinto executive Gordon Gilchrist, operates Lulo as a joint venture with Endiama, the Angolan government’s diamond agency. 

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