Seven years after selling control of Kimberley Diamonds for $320 million, Miles Kennedy is back in the diamond mining business.
And while Kimberley became famous for the fancy yellow diamonds produced from its Ellendale diamond mine in WA, the diamonds being produced by Kennedy’s latest venture Lucapa Diamond Company are among the world’s best.
Lucapa has already sold diamonds worth $6 million from the exploration phase at its Lulo Diamond Concession in Angola, the world’s fourth biggest diamond producer. These diamonds, which include rare type IIa gems and fancy yellows and pinks, have sold for extraordinary average prices of $6,960 per carat – which compares with a global average of $US120/per carat.
Lucapa is now gearing up to mine the worldclass diamonds being recovered from Lulo, having finalised the terms of a mining licence.
The Company, chaired by former Rio Tinto diamond chief Gordon Gilchrist, recently beefed up its operational and management team with the recruitment of former executives from diamond giant De Beers.
Adding to the excitement is that Lucapa is also well advanced in finding the primary source of the rare alluvial diamonds being recovered at Lulo.
Lucapa has discovered two major kimberlite provinces within the 3,000km2 Lulo concession containing about 300 kimberlite targets, many of which outcrop, making them easier to test. Already, four Lulo kimberlites have been confirmed as diamond-bearing.
The big prize for Lucapa is to find a kimberlite like the neighbouring Catoca diamond mine, the world’s fourth biggest diamond pipe.